Anna Hedley ‘honoured and thankful’ after landing athletics award

Dave Francis and Anna HedleyDave Francis and Anna Hedley
Dave Francis and Anna Hedley
Fife AC junior athlete Anna Hedley has landed the Scottish Athletics 4J Studios Under 17 Athlete of the Year Award.

The well-deserved recognition comes after a truncated 2020 season but Anna successfully defended her Scottish Cross-Country under 17 title at Falkirk in February having previously crowned her winter season in January winning the Run Stirling Cross-Country, incorporating the Scottish Inter-District Championships, and the Home Countries International.

Anna had in fact won the Home Countries International a year earlier in Dundonald finishing first under 17 but running in the Under 20 race, placing third overall – her first full vest representing Scotland. Track success came at Bedford last August, winning the All England 3000m title an hour after placing second in the 1500m.

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Only a year ago Anna rushed back from winning the UK Cross-Challenge at Liverpool to attend the Scottish Athletics Awards ceremony in Glasgow to be presented with the prestigious Eddie Campbell Memorial medal, awarded annually to the outstanding junior hill runner of the year.

Her titles and achievements would easily fill a book covering a career which has seen her guided by long-time Fife AC coach and athlete Dave Francis, Dura Den. Dave commented: “She is the most all-round female athlete I have ever known being successful over country, track, road, hill and triathlon.”

It all started when an 8-year old Anna made her debut at the Craigtoun 5km Parkrun going on to join Fife AC aged nine and encouraging fellow pupils at the Strathkinness Primary School Running group.

Her first major title came as an Under 13 athlete winning the Scottish Inter-District title at the Great Edinburgh Cross-Country in Holyrood Park in 2016 and a whole avalanche of titles has followed in quick succession over the years.

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Anna said: “It’s an honour to be nominated for this award and I’m thankful to the whole team that has guided and supported me along the way.” Anna is also learning how to lead a programme designed to help girls who lack confidence in their bodies and participating in sport.

Supported by Fife Active Schools Anna will also be helping fellow Madras College pupils as a role model encouraging youngsters in sport.

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