England Sevens youngster Ellie Kildunne hoping to fulfil Olympic dream

By Michael Hudson

England Sevens sensation Ellie Kildunne is dreaming of her own Olympic moment as the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan draws near.

Kildunne’s heroine is retired British athlete Jess Ennis who is an Olympic champion. Just like her role model and stars like Usain Bolt, the youngster is looking forward to Olympic glory when Team GB compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

The 18-year-old switched from fifteens to sevens last year but quickly showed immense potential and was crucial to Great Britain securing Olympic qualification by winning the European Olympic qualifiers in Kazan, Russia.

Kildunne said she watched the 2016 Rio Olympics on TV and was proud of sevens being on a such a massive stage. And she can barely believe she will be in the Olympics soon.

“This is my first year in the sevens, I spent Rio watching it on the TV in my living room as a 16-year-old,” Kildunne was quoted as saying by Eurosport. “I can still remember it, and seeing the girls go out there and put rugby seves on such a massive stage as the Olympics.

“That was very cool to watch and lit a spark in me, that has burned throughout the last few years and now it becoming more likely that I have an opportunity, touch wood, likely next year. Jess Ennis will always be my Olympic hero, I can remember doing an English assignment at school all about her.

“I think I wrote about 6000 words on her! I watched her on TV, watched her in each of her Olympics. Then of course guys like Usain Bolt, world stars that you can look up to and aspire to be like.”

Team GB women’s sevens team failed to win a medal at the Rio Olympics and Kildunne is hoping the current squad can do one better and win a medal.

“Each year is another building block, we are growing up as a squad after a lot of changes in the past few years. Individuals are always changing but from last season we had eight new caps come in and we are building again.

“We have worked incredibly hard for it and hopefully we can get better again with high hopes that we can do as well as we can. It’s very nice to see where the game has gone since then, this season has been incredible. The level is getting higher and higher.”

Kildunne has been a revelation since her her switch to sevens but credited her teammates and coaches for her development.

“You always surprise yourself, but having really great players around me has helped me develop. I learn as much from them as I do my coaches, and without them around me I wouldn’t be anywhere near the player I am.

“I have had a lot of conversations with girls throughout the year about Rio, and I must have watched their kit launch home video about 30 times! Each of them have said how amazing it is.

“A medal is the aim for the squad, and if we do keep on growing, there is everyone chance that we can do it.”

Main photo: YouTube

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