FOR Eccleston athlete Chelsea Jarvis the opportunity to access world class facilities is simply too good to miss – even if it means travelling more than 4,000 miles away from home.
The 18-year-old middle-distance runner, who came fifth in the 800 metres final of the World Youth Games last summer, has been offered a four year scholarship to study actuarial science at Florida State University.
The offer has been made because of her outstanding athletics achievements and it is hoped the magnificent training facilities and warm weather of the ‘Sunshine State’ will aid her progress.
The teenager, who also competes in 1500 metres and cross country races, was initially contacted by top Florida-based coach Karen Harvey through Facebook.
“It was a tough decision to make to leave home and I made a list of the pros and cons before deciding,” said Chelsea. But the facilities there are unbelievable, it’s like living as a professional athlete and you have access to top facilities.”
The Carmel College student, who is taking maths, Spanish and economics at A level, will move over to Florida in August to begin training at the campus.
She is continuing a tradition of British middle-distance athletes who have trained at the site, such as World Championship silver-medallist Hannah England, Barbara Parker and current ‘Seminole’ Georgia Peel.
“That was a part of what persuaded me to go,” admits Chelsea. “They’ve all been under coach Harvey and have all come out better athletes.”
Chelsea underlined the credit Dave Turnbull, her coach for the past four years, should take: “He’s been amazing and totally supports me. He’ll still be in contact and knows exactly how to carry on my training.”