Local stars win Rising Stars funding

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TWO Doncaster sportsmen received Jaguar Academy of Sport Bursary Awards at a ceremony held at the legendary Leander Club.

Teenage canoe slalom paddler Samuel Ibbotson and Doncaster’ Athletic Club’s highly-rated disabled wheelchair athlete Lewis Speight were among 50 youngsters to receive funding.

The Bursary Fund is at the core of the Jaguar Academy of Sport which recognises, celebrates and inspires the best of British sporting talent and success.

The 50 athletes were chosen after a rigorous selection process conducted by SportsAid, which administers the Bursary Fund on behalf of the Jaguar Academy.

The Patrons and Ambassadors of the Jaguar Academy of Sport, some of the nation’s most successful sportsmen and women including David Beckham, Sir Chris Hoy and Jessica Ennis, were all integral to this process.

The successful recipients athletes were drawn from all over the country and represented a total of 36 sporting disciplines ranging from athletics and cycling through to fencing and modern pentathlon.

This is the second year that the Academy of Sport has supported a unique set of Rising Stars and it has so far donated over £200,000 to inspire the next generation of British champions – making a tangible difference to the future of British sport.

The Jaguar Academy of Sport has been established with the intention of not just providing funding to the next generation, but also nurturing and inspiring them.

A mentoring and education programme provides all the Rising Stars with the non-financial support they need in order to be successful.

This support is provided through a selection of wokshops and talent days focusing on key areas that will help young athletes move from talented to elite.

The Rising Stars wasted no time in engaging with the programme, as they attended their first talent day hosted by Dame Kelly Holmes and were also presented with their bursary cheques and certificates.

Leander Club’s most famous and successful member, Sir Steve Redgrave then provided the Rising Stars with a master class and some advice on how to be successful within the sporting arena.

Said Sir Steve: “I feel very privileged to be able to pass on some advice through sharing experiences over my professional career. Hopefully I have provided them with some inspiration to go on and be as successful as possible and achieve their goals.

Said Dame Kelly: “The Mentoring and Education Programme which is provided to the Jaguar Academy of Sport Rising Stars is truly unique”