Olivia takes success in her stride as she secures top podium spot

At the tender age of 11, Roughfort girl Olivia Thompson has become the first member of Mallusk Harriers to top a podium, lifting the prestigious Malcolm Cup.

The Ballyclare event is held over a tricky 800m cross country course. Olivia, who attends BRA, started the Under 11 race strongly, powering past the other girls in the field through the first 200m.

Not content with her lead in the girls race, she began to pass a number of the boys for good measure.

Olivia finished strongly, well ahead of the rest of field to the delight of club coaches Gary Stitt and Tom Wylie.

Tom said: “Olivia is a real talent and while we were delighted with her victory we were not surprised. She has loads of natural talent and a real enthusiasm for running. With continued hard work and dedication we could expect to see more trophies adorn the Thompson mantelpiece.

“At Mallusk Harriers it is important that the Junior runners enjoy what they are doing and that is certainly the case with Olivia. We are immensely proud of her. We hope her victory will inspire other young runners to come along and get involved at the club.”

Gary added: “This tops off a great year for Olivia who showed why she was picked for the Northern Ireland Athletics Primary School team in June. We have a small but dedicated Junior Section at Mallusk Harriers which we are keen to expand. Olivia has shown what can be achieved with a bit of hard work.”

Any budding runners who are interested in giving it a go can contact Mallusk Harriers at malluskharriers@outlook.com or at www.malluskharriers.com