Olympic bronze medallist launches awards scheme for athletes looking towards Rio 2016
- Credit: Archant
THE Olympic legacy of London 2012 is to continue following the launch of a new athlete award scheme.
‘Inspired Athletes’ will see Essex athletes funded at three different levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze – depending on their level of achievement and progress on the performance ladder.
On hand to launch the scheme was Dunmow’s Olympic hockey star Chloe Rogers, who won a bronze medal at London 2012.
She said: “Funding is vital to enable any athlete to continue their training and in some cases is the only thing that allows them to pursue their sporting career.
“I could not have trained as hard, got through qualifying and competed at London 2012 if it wasn’t for the support of people and schemes like Active Essex’s ‘Inspired Athletes’.
“The money they supported me with over the past few years was so important and there are so many talented athletes across Essex that will really benefit from this and use it so they can make their way to Rio in 2016.”
The project, launched in the lead up to the one year anniversary of the start of London 2012, has seen Active Essex team up with Essex County Council, Southend on Sea Borough Council and the Essex Athlete Foundation charity.
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After a successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games, which saw Team GB and Paralympics GB excel in the medal tables, financial support for developing athletes to reach their potential has been a topical debate.
Team Essex Ambassador Faith Pitman said: “Right now Britain is winning practically all the sporting events, with the Lions win over Australia and Andy Murray at Wimbledon.
“With the Ashes kicking off, we look hopeful for another win.
“All of these athletes had to start somewhere and that was made possible through schemes such as ‘Inspired Athletes’.”
The different levels of funding are:
• Gold: Elite performers recognised by their National Governing Body (NGB): Those athletes that are part of international/national training squads and teams. There will be six grants of £3,000 each made available.
• Silver: National performers recognised by their NGB. Those who are included within national training/competitive squads. There will be six grants of £1,000 each made available.
• Bronze: Regional performers, also member of county squads if relevant, recognised by their NGB. Those who are included within regional and county training/competitive squads. There will be 12 grants of £500 each made available.
Visit activeessex.org/inspiredathletesawards to apply. Applications close on September 8, with the selection announcement on September 30.