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Longsdon schoolgirl Eden Schiller selected for regional triathlon

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 16, 2014

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MOORLANDS schoolgirl Eden Schiller, pictured, has been chosen to represent the West Midlands Region in the British Inter-Regional Triathlon Championships next week.

The event at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham, on Friday, will see the top three juniors in each region's age group compete against each other for both individual and team glory.

Eleven-year-old Eden, from Longsdon, will be competing in the TriStar 2 category for 11 and 12 year olds.

Over the past six months, she has competed in numerous triathlon and aquathlon events across the Midlands to secure her place in the regional team.

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Eden has also travelled to Eton Dorney – home of the 2012 Olympics rowing events – for a qualification race in which she was the first West Midlands girl to finish.

The eldest daughter of Chris and Julia Schiller, Eden is a member of the Newcastle Triathlon Club, where she is coached by Fiona Ridley and Julie Matheson.

But it was as member of Leek Swimming Club that Eden gained her first experience of competitive sport under the supervision of head coach Geoff Sommerfield, who said: "I could tell Eden had potential from the moment she entered the pool – it was how she handled the water."

Eden arrived at the Brough Park-based club just over three years ago and not long afterwards, joined Staffordshire Moorlands Athletic Club to develop her passion for running.

Moorlands AC juniors coach Kerry Marchant was equally impressed with Eden after watching her testing the running track at Birchall playing fields.

Since then, Eden has developed her skills as a racing cyclist at the Newcastle velodrome, in pursuing her ambition to become a successful triathlete.

Eden said: "I love swimming and long distance running. The stamina and strength that I have developed in the pool has helped me to add the bike for the triathlon.

"At the beginning of the year, I had no idea that I would be in a qualifying position after my four series races.

"When I got the email saying I had been chosen for the British Inter-Regional Championships, I couldn't believe it. I really need to thank my coaches for helping me achieve this."

Eden gets her appetite for sport from her mum Julia, who is a former paralympian.

An arm amputee, she represented Great Britain at the 1984 Special Olympics in New York, where she gained gold on the track over 800 and two bronze medals in the pool from the freestyle and medley relays.

Julia (nee Scarlett), who originates from Bemmersley, near Biddulph, said: " I am so proud of Eden. She has achieved so much in such a short time."

Eden has received much encouragement this year from Olympics Ambassador Neil Gilson, from Brown Edge, who has helped her add strength work in the gym and on the track to her busy training schedule.

Gilson spotted Eden's potential while acting as sport mentor at Endon Hall Primary School.

His verdict: "Eden has got a very bright future ahead of her."

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