Baker facing tough decision on sporting future

·3-min read
Poppy Baker is left with the tough decision of which sport she should pursue.
Poppy Baker is left with the tough decision of which sport she should pursue.

By Tom Masters, Sportsbeat

Poppy Baker admits the direction of her sporting future is about to reach crunch time.

Baker, 20, represents both England’s Roses Academy and Wasps at netball and is also part of British Rowing’s World Class Start programme.

A lover of both sports, Baker has been training full-time in both and up to this point, believes they have complemented each other up to this point.

But after leaving the decision until as late as possible, the Derby star is acutely aware she will need to make a big decision soon if she is to maximise her progress on either the court or on the water.

She said: “I think it's going to be one of those things where I like to give 100 per cent to everything.

“And when it gets to a point, which will probably come quite soon, where I can't give 100 per cent to both just because of the commitment, that's when my decision will have to be made.

“It won't be light decision or an easy one at all, there will be a lot of thought and conversations that will go into it.

“It's a nice problem to have, but at the same time it almost does hurt a little bit because I love them both for so many different reasons and so it's always hard to put them against each other.”

Competing at such an elite level across two sports places naturally gruelling demands on Baker’s body.

But she believes the two work in perfect harmony and have helped benefit each other up to this point.

“They offer very different things, so sometimes it's quite nice to kind of have two different perspectives on sport, which I found quite nice,” she added.

“But then at the same time they do actually complement each other - people wouldn't expect netball and rowing to go together, but in terms of physiology, they actually complement each other quite well, so I found it quite useful.”

While she may not know yet which path she will follow, one thing is for sure - Baker is destined for a glittering career in the sporting world.

She added: “That sums it up really.

“It seriously is both, I know that sounds a bit crazy, but looking at the national side, 100 per cent a senior England netball would be the goal.

“I'd love to play at the Commonwealth Games stage, I think that would be amazing.

“Then, with the rowing side, obviously I just want to compete against the very best, so that would be the Olympics which would also be so exciting.”

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more