Contribution by Paul Smith, Sportsbeat
LONDON, May 3. DUNFERMILINE'S Daniel Woodall has been hand-picked as a future British Olympian after being chosen to be part of the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes initiative. The 18-year-old water polo star will receive a cash injection towards training and competing and is one of only 82 youngsters selected from across Scotland.
Woodall attended the launch of the scheme at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow, one of the key stadia for next year's 2014 Commonwealth Games. There he rubbed shoulders with Olympic gold medalist Katherine Grainger and Commonwealth champion Robbie Renwick. And Woodall reckons his recent recognition will be just the confidence boost he needs ahead of a hectic 2013 season.
“This means a lot to me it is great to be recognized as a potential talent and to get help with the funding and it means a lot and is going to help me progress and get better,” said Woodall — who also received practical sessions on how to deal with the media, how to make the most of social media and career development advice at the workshop.
“I play for my local club team Dunfermiline and I play for a team that goes to England for the national league, Caledonia. Last year I was captain of the Scotland junior squad. I am too old for that now but hopefully I will soon progress into the Scotland senior squad and I am also part of the Great Britain under-19s team.”
“It is unlikely because I am still quite young but it would be a real achievement to get picked for the Commonwealth Games next year. The British team are also hoping to go to the European qualifiers and one of my goals is definitely to get picked for that team because that would be an amazing experience, just fantastic.”
As part of Bank of Scotland's London 2012 legacy, Bank of Scotland Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, will provide support and funding to 82 emerging Scottish athletes in 2013. Over 220 Local Heroes have benefited from the program since 2008.