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Pole vaulter is UK Challenge monthly winner

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Pole vaulter Joe Ive (Belgrave Harriers), who will make his international debut next week at the European Under 23 Championships in Hungary, was today confirmed by UK Athletics as the latest UK Challenge Athlete of the Month.


Announcing that 1,570 athletes competed in the 16 UK Challenge events during June and 564 of them achieved lifetime bests, UKA events manager Paul Aldridge said: “The fact that a third of the athletes improved despite generally awful weather is encouraging proof that the Challenge is going from strength to strength.”


The Challenge offers athletes prizes according to the points earned by the standard of their performances as part of UKA’s campaign to help more athletes rise to international standards on the way to London 2012 – and Ive’s rewards are an addidas kit package and a bottle of Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne.


Ive, 20, who improved his best from 5.25m to 5.40m during June, has just left college and is seeking a job as a carpenter. He said: “With a decent pole costing £400, any help is good.”


He accumulated 943 points in June. The month’s top 10 was completed by: 2 Susan Moncrieff (Trafford AC) 820 points; 3 Julian Golley (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) 796; 4 Rachel Gibbens (Marshall Milton Keynes) 790; 5 Louise Butterworth (Birchfield Harriers) 786; 6 Adam Scarr (Enfield and Haringey) 770; 7 Nadia Williams (Shaftesbury Barnet) 751; 8 Gary White (Cardiff AAC) 705; 9 Denae Matthew (Leicester Coritanian) 699; 10 Gillian Kerr (Edinburgh AC) 698.


The 16 events – British League and UK Women’s League matches, the first BMC Nike Grand Prix and UK Athletics Endurance Initiative meeting of the summer, Norwich Union England Athletics Under 23 Championships, territorial championships, Bedford International Games and the JumpsFest – attracted 818 male competitors and 752 females.


A total of 92 of them – 39 men and 53 women – achieved Power of 10 national standards introduced by UK Athletics and its governing partners to provide stepping stones to improvements in every event in every region in every region.


Of the 564 personal bests, 304 were achieved by men and 260 by women.


For more details about the UK Challenge, the athletes’ performances and the prizes they are chasing, please click here