Burnley siblings on target to represent Great Britain in European and world championships in thrilling Olympic sport

A brother and sister from Burnley have been selected to represent Great Britain in the European and World Championships of  a top Olympic sport.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 2:42 pm
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 3:42 pm
Alfie and Helana White with Jermain Cheetham of the Burnley Society of St George.
Alfie and Helana White with Jermain Cheetham of the Burnley Society of St George.

Alfie White (16) and his 13-year-old sister Helana were chosen by Modern Pentathlon to compete in Laser Run, the exhilarating finale to the Olympic sport with athletes required to alternate between shooting a laser pistol and running in a fast-paced and action-packed race to the finish line.

Laser Run is open to anyone aged nine to 90 and follows the same format as when part of a Modern Pentathlon. Although a mass start rather than a handicap the winner is still the first person to cross the line.

At London 2012, British athlete Samantha Murray famously moved up from fourth place to a brilliant silver medal in front of her home crowd following a brilliant running and shooting performance.

To kickstart their chances the Society of St George, Burnley, generously donated £500 towards a laser gun for the two promising homegrown athletes.

Proud mum, Rachael said: "This is a great honour to be selected and they are both very proud to have their first GB vests, which they hope will be the first of many.

"I am very grateful for this donation as there is limited funding for Junior Pentathlon and all the costs of the trips overseas, kit, travel expenses, including flights and hotels are borne by parents."

The Laser Pistol is an essential but expensive part of their kit with costs starting at nearly £700 for the gun alone.

Society president Jermain Cheetham presented the duo with their laser gun at the club's annual fundraising barbecue where all members got the chance to try the sport for themselves and see how difficult it is.

Jermain said: “The Society of St George is very pleased to help two local athletes in this way, enabling them to continue with their dreams, and promoting a positive image of what can be achieved with hard work and determination, their GB Selection is great news for Helana and Alfie, The Society of St. George and for Burnley."

The duo are now preparing to represent Great Britain in the up-coming European Laser Run Championships in Weiden in Germany in August and the World Championships in Hungary in September.

Helana and Alfie are both keen runners and swimmers who train weekly as members of Clayton-Le-Moors Harriers and Burnley Bobcats.

Alfie has represented North England previously for Modern Pentathlon Laser Run in the 2018 National School Games, and finished a fantastic 15th in the Burnley 10K recently.

Helana is the Current Lancashire Fell Champion, British Open Fell Champion, Lancashire Cross Country Champion and represented North West England last Year in the National Triathlon U20 Championships.

Rachael is now hoping that locally based companies or businesses may want to offer sponsorship or funding for her two talented athletes who are destined to make their mark in the world of sport.

Anyone who would like to help is asked to get in touch with Rachael at [email protected]