St Mary's Catholic School student Joy Eze was awarded a platinum scholars award at the Annual Awards Dinner at Newcastle Civic Centre. She is seen here receiving her 'big' cheque from 1984 Olympic 1000m silver medalist, Mike McLeod.
Joy has been on Sport Newcastle’s ‘radar’ since she won a Rising Star award in 2017 as a 12 year old. Joy, a Gateshead Harrier, came to prominence after winning several regional age group sprint titles, coming 2nd in the Scottish indoor 60m and ending the season as the fastest under 13 girl in England indoors.
Since then Joy’s progress and performances have continued to improve. Sport Newcastle has supported her throughout, providing two grants to help cover the excessive costs of competing around the country.
Last July Joy won the English Schools under 17 100m championship in Birmingham in 11.93s to become the first ever North East sprint champion at this event. Her win qualified Joy for her first international event in Swansea, where she won the Schools International 100m and led her England team to victory in the 4 x 100m relay.
This year Joy has taken the junior sprint scene by storm. Although still only 15 she has been competing at under 17 level. Victories in the Northern and Scottish 60m indoor championships in personal best times and setting championship records were the precursor to the ‘big one’. The English Nationals! In Sheffield last month Joy exploded from the blocks to win the final in a new personal best of 7.51s. This time would have placed Joy in 3rd place at the British Senior Championships held in Glasgow on the same day.