A 10-year-old athlete has her sights set on the Olympics after impressing at junior level.

Alayana Ahmed, a pupil at QEGS in Blackburn, is ranked fourth by UK Athletics for the 150 metres and 11th for the 75 metres in the U11s category.

During the 2016/2017 season, Alayana has represented Lancashire County and has won three gold medals, two silver and three bronze.

Shabaz Ahmed, Alayana’s father, said: “This is her third season in the North West of England and I cannot recollect seeing any young Asian athletes at elite level.

“In fact I have not seen any young Muslim female athletes at the events she has participated in, in Manchester, Wigan, Burnley and Blackpool.

“There’s a sporting pedigree in our family.

“My dad was a Kabaddi player and my brother played amateur cricket at a high level. My sister used to play volleyball for Sheffield Ladies and my niece currently plays amateur Rugby League and Union at Club and University level.

“Alayana is just following tradition.”

Alayana’s parents saw her excel during school races and decided to enrol her with the Chorley Athletics Triathlon Club when she was just seven. Alayana now participates in approximately 18 events a year. Shabaz added: “A coach can’t attend every competition with her, so she is essentially learning to contend with any mistakes she makes herself and how to rectify them.”

As well as being a committed athlete, Alayana, who trains twice a week, is also an avid skier, enjoys swimming and plays football for her local club.

Despite her success at local level, Alayana said that she was ‘shocked’ to discover how well she fared on a national scale.

Alayana said: “I was so happy and shocked. I didn’t realise I was that good!”

Shabaz and his wife have firmly supported Alayana in her endeavours. Shabaz said: “An Asian female who does sport should be put on a pedestal because of the cultural constraints within the Asian psyche.

“There needs to be more encouragement from home, not necessarily to compete professionally, but just from a fitness perspective.

“In this day and age, this is a conversation that shouldn’t even need to be had.”