By Ben Hart, Sportsbeat
Edinburgh track sensation Cameron Thores has his heart set on Great British qualification after enjoying a red-hot junior career.
The 19-year-old finished third in the 60m (T47) at the BUCS British University Championships earlier this year and hopes that will be a springboard for senior success in the future.
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Only a recent convert to para-athletics from rugby, Thores appreciates that podium finishes are far from a guarantee but insists he is eager to learn and desperate to maximise his potential.
He said: "I want to compete at the highest level possible.
"So that means making GB squads for major championships.
"I've competed for Scotland a few times this year and hopefully, in the next couple of years, I’ll get the GB vest and the experience of going abroad.
"If I can get a medal that would be a bonus but for me, it's just about keeping on progressing and getting more adjusted to what it's like to be a higher-level athlete."
The burgeoning para-athletics star is a member of the Aldi's Rising Stars programme, an initiative that supports 20 young athletes by providing a financial award to help with training and competition costs, while also delivering personal development opportunities to many athletes through workshop sessions.
A student at the University of Exeter, Thores hopes to claim another BUCS medal in the coming months which are shaping up to be a busy time for the Corstorphine AC athlete.
"So, the likely next competition I'll take part in will be the Cardiff Indoors," he explained.
"There’ll obviously be major championships indoors over the winter so that would be January, February time and they'll also be BUCS happening in Sheffield.
"For me, it's just a case of recovering, getting back into training then, looking to compete indoors in Cardiff and then London and see what I can do.
"I want to push on to the major championships."
As an Aldi Rising Stars athlete, Thores will receive financial support through Aldi as well as a monthly food voucher to fuel him through training, competitions and hopefully onto future Paralympic Games.
Though surprised to find himself on the programme, Thores says the support has already proved supremely beneficial.
"Someone had recommended me, but I’d never really gone after these kinds of things before, so I was pretty taken aback initially," he added.
"It takes the financial burden off being able to train and compete where and when I want to.
"It’s nice to take the burden away and just means I can focus on athletics itself."
Aldi is the Official Supermarket Partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB and have partnered with Team GB since 2015, ParalympicsGB since 2022 and will be supporting them through to Paris 2024.
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