It runs in the family!

THERE are people in the higher echelons of sport wondering which way Sheffield athlete Alex Kiwomya will jump.

At present he is a record-breaking sprinter who is flashes past older kids with almost embarrassing ease.

But he's also a footballer a Rotherham United's Centre of Excellence - where they keep a close eye out for soccer stars of the future.

One person who won't be pressuring him either way is his father, Andy, despite the fact he was a footballer himself with Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham and Barnsley.

Andy, now a fitness and conditioning coach with Huddersfield Town FC, is content to watch Alex blossom in both disciplines - and wait to see which path eventually presents most promise of achievement.

For the moment, though, it's athletics that is giving Alex his share of the sporting headlines.

At just turned 13, the schoolboy speed machine is the fastest under-15 sprinter over 200 metres in England.

Andy says: "I only took him to his first properly-timed race in Doncaster because I had clocked him myself and people just wouldn't believe the time I'd recorded. He was only 12 and ran 200m in 24 seconds.

"Now he has managed it in 22.93 (at Don Valley Stadium) which makes him the joint fastest at his age in this country of all time.

"He is dedicated to what he does in athletics, but when he plays football he is just the same.

"His strength lies in his hard work and training along with his foot speed and general movement.

"The other day he was helping a friend try to get a personal best in the 400m and ran ahead of him, looking behind as he was running some of the time. He still came in about the ninth fastest in the country with his time!

"I was quite upset, really! I always want to see him do the best time he can."

So how far can Grenoside-based Alex go in either soccer or sprinting?

"That's something we never discuss; he just keeps his feet on the ground and remains focused on whatever he is doing at any one time" says his 41-year-old dad, brother of Chris Kiwomya, the former Arsenal, QPR and Ipswich player.

"He enjoys what he is doing now. He likes to pressure himself whether it is in those sports, basketball or even ice skating.

"But he also has a well-balanced social life and knows that everything is secondary to his education at Notre Dame High School, in Fulwood."

The sporting gene isn't confined to the male gender in the Kiwomya family either.

"My daughter, Natasha, is 20 and at Leeds Metropolitan University," Andy said. "She was asked to run 400m and has really impressed them."

Has any of Andy's own footballing pedigree aided either child?

"I just try to give them a positive mentality. You have got to believe it to achieve it," he said. "You have got to be confident without ever being arrogant. We'll see how it all goes for Alex and whether expectation takes its toll."

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