Fearless Lydia Cross scooped a Pride of Britain award aged six and now wants to win the nation’s hearts all over again by becoming a blade running champ.

Lydia, 11, who lost her legs to meningitis as a toddler, is one of the youngest blade runners in the country and has her sights set on the Paralympics in 2016.

Her trainer Hayley Ginn, who coached amputee Jonnie Peacock to 100m gold for Britain at London 2012, thinks she has massive potential.

Lydia said yesterday: “I am really inspired by Jonnie and Oscar Pistorius because of everything they have done.”

She went to the Paralympics with sister Millie and coach Hayley, and added: “I got a day pass. It was great. I watched basketball, tennis and even got to see Oscar in the athletics. It was amazing.

“I think I am going to make it to Rio in 2016. My favourite event is the 100m because I think I am quite good at it. My training is going really well.”

Hayley said: “She is very young and her progress depends on what she wants to do. If she takes running seriously as she develops and gets stronger she’ll be very good indeed.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on her but if she wants to do it then I believe she can get to Rio. She is improving massively every day.”

Lydia was two when she was struck down by meningitis.

The disease left her on the brink of death with multiple organ failure and septicaemia. Doctors had to amputate her legs below the knees.

Since recovering she has thought of others by raising awareness of the symptoms of meningitis, and in 2007 was named Child of Courage at the Mirror’s Pride of Britain awards where pop group the Sugababes presented her trophy.

Lydia, of Braunton, Devon, will still only be 15 in 2016 but mum Jodie, 42, says her daughter has never failed to do something that she has put her mind to.

Jodie added: “Since losing her limbs she has been extremely brave. She’s so determined.

“She can ride a bike easily and even wears skinny jeans despite not being able to bend her feet. She is amazing. To her, ‘impossible’ is nothing.”