WEYMOUTH star Serita Shone is celebrating being selected as a brakewoman for the Great Britain Bobsleigh team.
The 22-year-old is the newest addition to the prestigious team, which is campaigning for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
She will be representing the country on the Europa Cup circuit with the aim of rising to the World Cup at the end of the season.
Former Thomas Hardye pupil Shone was snapped up following ice trials in Latvia due to her ‘impressive natural power and speed’ and she will be competing with both GB2 and GB3 teams, with the goal of achieving a podium finish by the end of the season.
Shone said: “The women’s bobsleigh is a two-person event with a driver and a brakewoman.
“My job is to push the bobsleigh from the ice run to create momentum.
“I only started at the beginning of August so I’m one of the few people who just fitted in with the natural skills straight away, which was what the selectors saw as my potential.
“It’s all about technique and timing, it’s a great challenge and it’s exhilarating.”
Shone divides her time between Weymouth and Bath where she trains with her two partners Vicky Ollanye and Fiona Harrison on specialist dry slopes.
She said: “There’s always two brakewomen to one driver in case one gets injured, at the moment I’m the main one for GB3 and the second one for GB2.”
The former heptathlete star, who honed her skills at Weymouth St Paul’s Harriers athletics club and Bournemouth athletics club, was forced to switch sports after becoming injury prone to aspects of the seven-strong track and field event.
She said: “I realised I would be good at the bobsleigh, you have to be fearless and having trained at lots of sports from a young age it never fazed me.
“I was automatically used to the speed and I’m heavy, strong and powerful but I don’t have a high fat ratio.”
The hardest part for Shone was adapting to her team-dependant role having always been an individual athlete, which she described as a ‘culture shock.’ Shone, who has almost completed her master’s degree in sport nutrition, completing the stringent two-month selection period where she saw plenty of people eliminated.
She is now doing an ‘insane’ full-time training programme with the Great Britain Bobsleigh team.
She added: “On October 22, I’m going out to Germany to start the Europa Cup circuit and then if things go to plan, I hope to compete in the World Junior Champion-ships in Italy in February next year.
“You’re still a junior until 26 in the bobsleigh.”
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