Tansley shooter Caroline Povey missed out on in the race to become Derbyshire Sportsperson of the Year at University of Derby-sponsored Derbyshire Sports Awards last Thursday– but is now targeting the Rio Olympics.
She was one of four medallists at this summer’s Commonwealth Games to be shortlisted in the top category for the prestigious annual ceremony held at The Roundhouse, Derby and attended by 250 nominees and dignitaries from across the county.
But it was City of Derby swimmer Adam Peaty who walked away with the winners’ trophy ahead of fellow nominees Caroline, Chesterfield table tennis player Liam Pitchford and Long Eaton hurdler Will Sharman.
The 34-year-old – whose dad Joe Neville also medalled at the Commonwealth Games at Edinburgh in 1986 – was nominated after taking a bronze in the Olympic Trap event in Glasgow, despite remaining an amateur shooter.
Caroline combines her training of four or five times a week with working at Darwin Forest Country Park and being a mother to four-year-old daughter Xanthe.
Without funding from her national governing body, she has to raise around £12,000 each year to help fund her sporting passion and is grateful for the ongoing support of her sponsors.
Caroline has also benefited from being part of the Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) Gold athlete programme, which in addition to giving her financial support, provides assistance with mentoring and sports psychology.
That help has enabled her to claim other excellent results this summer, such as a 10th place finish at the World Cup in Kazakhstan, victory in the ladies event of the Home International and joint ninth place at the World Championships in Spain.
Now she has one eye on representing Great Britain in Brazil, providing she can keep up her high level of performance.
“I went to the World Championships in Spain in September which was the first chance to qualify for the Rio Olympics,” said Caroline. “I finished in joint ninth, which is my best at a Worlds.
“I’m training hard now for the first World Cup in Mexico in March with a warm weather training camp, probably in January and then on to the new season.
“With the way shooting works, there is no guarantee that if you are the best in Britain that you are going to get to go to the Olympics.
“But finishing joint ninth in the World Championships has given me confidence and I think I’m getting better all the time – I think I am coming into my best form.”
Also in attendance was Commonwealth Games athlete Annie Last, of Bakewell, who finished fourth in the mountain bike cross-country race up in Glasgow.
The Derbyshire Sports Awards are organised by Derbyshire Sport and recognise some of the county’s most committed and talented volunteers, coaches, athletes, clubs and organisations from grass roots through to elite level.
Local award ceremonies have been held across the county, with winners from each district going forward to be considered for the Derbyshire Sports Awards.
The county winners were selected by expert panels drawn from across all nine districts.