Going for Gold: Rising Stars Get a Helping Hand
With one year to go until the Rio Olympic Games, we are celebrating Lancashire’s talented athletes through the Lancashire Rising Star Fund.
Twelve talented athletes from across the county have been awarded a cash boost to help them achieve their sporting goals.
The Lancashire Rising Star Fund, in association with Lancashire Sport Partnership and the University of Central Lancashire, award grants of £500 to individuals to support the cost of travel, training, accommodation, competition fees and equipment. In addition to the money, each athlete will receive a tailored package of support from UCLan that included strengthening and conditioning services, nutritional advice and support and access to UCLan’s sports and training facilities.
Adrian Leather, Chief Executive at Lancashire Sport Partnership said:
“Families can spend well in excess of £5,000 a year on supporting young athletes progress in their chosen sport. We want to help to support aspiring athletes to achieve their potential and realise their dreams of competing at the highest level.
We are looking forward to working with all 12 athletes over the next 12 months and you never know they might competing for the country in future Championships and Olympic and Paralympic Games!”
2015 Lancashire Rising Stars
Alpine skier Bethany Widdup was selected to represent GB at the World Junior Championships in Norway in her preferred discipline of slalom and has achieved 2nd places in the English Championships and the British Championships. She is currently undertaking summer dry land training and is hoping to qualify again for the World Championships.
At the age of 15, Brenna was playing football for Blackburn Rover’s U17s and is on standby for England’s U17 training camp in addition to being the only netball player in Lancashire to be selected as part of the England screening programme. Brenna is looking to step up in both her football and netball careers by being selected for the England's U17 football squad and the U19 performance academy for netball.
Cyclist Eve has competed in numerous events over the last year and became the U14 North West Regional Champion on the Road. She is working towards British Cycling’s Olympic Development Apprentices programme and is hoping to podium at both the 2015 National Youth Omnium Final and at the U14 National Road Championships.
Declan has competed at a range of events including European Artificial Championships, Irish Open Artificial Championships, British Artificial Championships, English Artificial Championships, GBR Outdoor Series, British Indoor Championships and the English Alpine Championships. In the next year he will move an age category from the U16’s to the U18/21s, where he will be required to ski under International Ski Federation (FIS) rules in his disciplines of Slalom and Giant Slalom.
George competed at the National Cerebral Palsy Grand Prix and won all the races that I entered including the 100m and 200m finals. He was selected to GB at the IWAS World Junior under 23 championships in Holland and has been selected to represent England at the CP World Games in August. Over the next year he is hoping to increase his ranking from 3rd in the 100 and 200ms.
Georgia has competed for the first time at the Youth International Modern Pentathlon Championships Combined Event and finished in 3rd place last year. This has lead onto selection in the European Modern Pentathlon Youth B Female Combined Event Championships, Barcelona, and a place on the World Class Talent Programme. Her goals going forward are to gain a place on the English talent squad for triathlon and to be selected for the European Championships in Modern Pentathlon.
Talented javelin champion Leah has won two medals at the prestigious England Schools Athletic Association National Championships. So far this season Leah is ranked third in the UK and second in England for the Under 17 ladies javelin throw. If she does well at the English School Championships, she hopes to be selected to represent England in the Home Countries Championships.
In Lucy’s first season of racing competitions, she came 2nd overall in the NW Cyclo-cross League (U14 Girls) with a number of 1st placings in individual competitions and by the end of the CX season she was ranked 17th Nationally. She was recently selected to attend the last 3 Regional School of Racing training days by a panel of British Cycling and NW Coaches. She is working towards gaining a place on the Olympic Development Academy.
As part of the England Talent Squad, swimmer Niamh was selected to compete in Lignano, Italy in May 2015 competing against swimmers from the Ukraine, Russia, Germany and Italy. Competing in 3 events, she returned with a silver in the 50m Breaststroke and bronze medals in the 100m Breaststroke and 200m Individual Medley. She hopes to continue achieving the qualifying times for all levels of county, regional and national events and to continue representing her club, county, and GB if again given the opportunity.
Swimmer Pia’s achievements have resulted in in her being invited to the British Nationals and the ASA Home Nation events. She has competed in 12 regional events, securing 4 gold and 1 silver medal in the finals of the Butterfly and Backstroke distances and her goal now is to gain the qualifying times for the British Short course Championships which will take place in December 2015.
Golfer Ryan took part on the Lee Westwood Golf Tour 2014 where he achieved a fantastic nett score of 64, winning not only his age category but also the Under 17's and the Under 21's and was crowned The Lee Westwood National Champion 2014. Ryan has entered on to the Lee Westwood Golf Tour 2015, with the hope of qualifying again for the National Finals Day and defending his title.
Sally is a member of the Rugby Union England Women’s U20 National Squad where she was in the starting line-up for games versus the Army, and both away and home games against France. In May this year, Sally attended the England U20s trial and was successful in gaining her place in the 2015 – 2016 squad. Her ultimate goal is to be selected for the Senior 15-a-side England squad.