A Teenager is flying high after winning a national award for her dedication to pigeon racing.
Nicola Hey, 13, has been racing the birds since the age of ten and was honoured with the Guy Barrett trophy for her commitment to her club at a ceremony in Blackpool last week.
Nicola, of Accrington and District Homing Society, has 12 of her own birds that she trains and races each week during the competitive season from April to September.
She said: “I really like the competition of it and the freedom.
“Me and my friend at school are really competitive and always arguing about which one of us will win.
“I was really surprised about the award, even my mum didn’t know I was getting it.”
Nicola, from Haslingden, competes against pigeon fanciers of all ages in sprint races of up to 219 miles.
She was attracted to the contests after watching her dad, Steven. for years.
The pair now share a loft at the Kirkhill allotment site.
Steven said Nicola was nominated for a young fanciers award by her club and from there she was entered into the running for the national award.
Nicola and Steven will next be competing when the season begins again in April.
And in the wake of Nicola’s success Accrington and District Homing Society is offering a new starter package for juniors wishing to take up pigeon racing.
The package includes the loan of a loft for 18 months to two years, the loan of a timing clock, and ten young birds to start racing in 2013.
The lofts will be housed at Peel Park and Woodnock allotment sites. For further details contact Peter Hargreaves on 07747 628968.