PARALYMPIC hopeful Chloe Ball cannot wait to take on the exciting challenge of the Asian Para Grand Prix in Bangkok.
The five-day competition starts today with Ball in action in the brand new W1 category following her call-up to the GB Paralympic Podium Potential squad in January.
This will be the first time the Wotton-under-Edge resident has competed internationally in this category and the talented 17-year-old said that all she is focused on is achieving a personal best score and soaking up the atmosphere.
She said the result can take care of itself and will only serve to prepare her better for the team selection shoot at the end of May.
Ball said: “All I want to do is my best.
“The squad aren’t putting any pressure on me so I won’t be putting pressure on myself. I am just going to go out there and enjoy it and get the best out of myself before the selection shoot.
“I am excited and curious – I love a new challenge and I love new things. It feels like yesterday I was told I was going and the time has flown by.”
But Ball will not only have the pressure of competing for Great Britain on the international stage to contend with.
Temperatures in Thailand reach a maximum of 38C during the day, with humidity up to 75 per cent while Ball is shooting.
But Ball, who has muscular dystrophy, is determined not to let the conditions faze her.
And her mother Louisa will be by her side for the trip as a member of the support staff for the GB para-archery squad.
Ball explained: “I’m not used to that heat but I have had lots of advice about how to counter it, like wearing a white cap and drinking a lot.
“But I thrive in heat, it is good for my bones and my muscles. I can’t control what it may do to my body but I can control it psychologically.
“My mum being out there will make things easier for me and the rest of the team. It is a totally new place with new people and it would be harder if she wasn’t there, but she is there for the whole team too and it is really appreciated.
“She won’t be with me when I’m shooting though as I’ve never really benefited from my parents being there, but she will help me with everything else.”
Boyfriend James Elliott said he will be following the competition nervously at home, while Ball’s friends from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College are also excited.
Juggling college work with training for Cleve Archers could be a difficult balance, but Ball said the college have been tremendously accommodating.
She added: “The teachers have been great with my college work.
“Anything I need is sorted straight away and they have given me time off for the competition and for training. This means I don’t have to do any work while I’m out there, so I can just focus on shooting.”