‘Excited’ Beth Dobbin determined to repay GB selectors’ faith

Beth Dobbin. Photo by Stephen Pond - British Athletics/Getty Images
Beth Dobbin. Photo by Stephen Pond - British Athletics/Getty Images

Beth Dobbin has spoken of her pride and excitement after securing a place on the British Athletics world class performance squad. 

The 24-year-old sprinter, from Sprotbrough, will benefit from Lottery funding for the first time in her career after being included in the 114-strong line-up for the 2018/19 season.

Dobbin’s call-up is just reward for a sensational breakthrough season which saw her become a British champion and reach the 200m final at the European Championships in Berlin.

The former Ridgewood and Danum School pupil’s battle with epilepsy as a teenager and her self-funded status – which has seen Dobbin combine her training with no fewer than four part time jobs – has made her rise to prominence even more special. She also overcame a stress fracture in her foot in 2015.

Dobbin, the daughter of former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Jim, is determined to repay the faith of the national selectors.

She will be groomed as a potential participant in the relay events at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“I'm literally ecstatic,” she said. “I can't hide how happy I am. I was keeping everything crossed that I would be selected.

“Now that I have I'm so grateful and I just want to use the opportunity to help me.

“It's going to make a huge difference to me because I've had to work so much and never really had access to any of the facilities that British Athletics have.

“I'm just so excited to use them and I feel so honoured that people believe in me and that gives me so much more confidence going into next season.

“It will make a difference financially,” she added.

“It will allow me to work four days instead of seven. 

“Last year I had to keep a block each day to get everything done whereas now, I can do some training in the morning or have treatment or get some of the help I might not have had time to do last year.

“I’ll have access to things like psychology or strength and conditioning which I wouldn’t even have thought about this time last year. 

“I feel so lucky because I want to take the next step and this will help me get to that place.

“It'll be a massive help.

“Because I've never been on the programme I've always seen it as so prestigious and something to aim for.

“Now I have got there I just feel so honoured that people are putting their faith in me.

“I just can't wait to be able to use all of the facilities and hopefully do everyone proud that's believed in me.”

Dobbin, whose father’s roots led to her representing Scotland, rose to prominence in June by breaking the 34-year-old Scottish record for the 200m before sensationally winning the British title in the eighth fastest time ever for a British female.

She won a bronze medal on her first ever appearance for Great Britain at the inaugural Athletics World Cup in July before reaching the 200m European final in Germany a month later.

“It's just been the best year of my life with some of the best moments in my life,” said Dobbin, who started out at Doncaster Athletic Club and now represents Edinburgh AC.

“I've achieved things that I never thought I would be able to achieve - things that I almost accepted that I wouldn't achieve.

“It's made me even more hungry for next year because I've actually got things to aim for. 

“I'm not just trying to run a personal best and I'm actually trying to make teams at the Worlds so I'm really motivated by that. I'm just so excited.”

Dobbin holds the Scottish record at 200 metres with a time of 22.59 secs. 

She is likely to be trained up with a view to featuring in the 4x400m relay team in Tokyo.

Sir Mo Farah and Dobbin’s 200m rival Dina Asher-Smith are also among the 114 athletes named in Great Britain’s world class performance squad.