Talented young cricketers, Georgia Hennessy and Georgia Holmes have been awarded bursaries from the Jaguar Academy of Sport, along with a number of other promising young sports stars.
They recently attended the Pestana Hotel where they were provided with their bursaries and also took part in their first Mentoring and Education Programme (MEP) sessions focusing on media training led by Kelly Holmes Education.
Throughout these sessions they were able to take on advice from sporting greats including Dame Kelly Holmes, Mark Foster, Anna Hemmings, Sarah Winkless, Nick Gillingham, Toby Garbett and Rachel Yankey.
Following his retirement from competitive cycling in April this year, six-time Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy today identified potential future Champions in the sport; 14 year-old Sophie Capewell of Lichfield, Staffordshire, and 15 year-old Joe Holt of Llanelli, Carmarthenshire.
At the Jaguar Academy of Sport Bursary Awards held in London, Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Kelly Holmes presented 50 Rising Stars in British sport with personal development bursaries of £2,000.00 each, elevating their chances of reaching the top.
In addition to collecting their bursary awards, the Academy’s Rising Stars also started the Mentoring and Education Programme (MEP), focusing today on media training. Each Rising Star was able to quiz their sporting idols in an exclusive question and answer session with new Academy Patron Sir Chris Hoy and Academy Ambassador Mark Foster, at an event hosted by television presenter and Academy Member Natalie Pinkham.
The Academy, now in its fourth year, has awarded 185 bursaries to date and by the end of 2013 will have invested £600,000 in the future of British sport. This support has made a significant difference to the Rising Stars development pathway with a high proportion of athletes moving on to elite funding, and pushing for success at world-class level.
Sir Chris Hoy, Jaguar Academy of Sport Patron said: "I’m delighted to now be a Patron of the Jaguar Academy of Sport. It is encouraging that a brand the size of Jaguar is demonstrating its commitment to the future of British Sport in this way. I’m sure we will see some of our Rising Stars competing at the highest level very soon. I look forward to supporting them over the course of the year through the Mentoring and Education Programme."
David Steele, Jaguar Global Experiential Director said: "The Jaguar Academy of Sport has gone from strength to strength over the last four years and it’s great to have our next group of talented young athletes all receiving their bursaries. Jade Jones demonstrated the power of the Academy at London 2012 by winning Olympic Gold just one year after receiving the Jaguar Academy of Sport Star of the Future accolade."
In addition to the essential financial support, the Academy also provides a bespoke Mentoring and Education Programme, delivered by Kelly Holmes Education, that all the Rising Stars automatically join. This programme provides a wide range of workshops over the year focusing on the emotional, physical and psychological elements the young athletes need to work on, to one day emulate their heroes, many of whom are existing Patrons and Ambassadors of the Academy.
Dame Kelly Holmes, Jaguar Academy of Sport Patron said: "Mentoring and education support for young athletes is so important and it’s fantastic that Jaguar is continuing its investment and we are welcoming another group of Rising Stars onto the programme. As a team we are really looking forward to getting to know them over the course of the year and beyond as they continue to progress in their sporting career. We hope to see some of them even competing at the 2014 Winter Olympics and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games next year."
The 50 Rising Stars of 2013 were chosen after a rigourous selection process conducted by SportsAid, the UK’s national charity for young sports talent, which administers the Bursary Fund on behalf of the Academy. The Patrons and Ambassadors of the Jaguar Academy of Sport are some of the nation’s most successful sportsmen and women – including Jonny Wilkinson and SportsAid alumni Sir Steve Redgrave and Jessica Ennis CBE – and they were also integral to this process.
Tim Lawler, Chief Executive of SportsAid said: "SportsAid is proud to work with The Jaguar Academy of Sport to help the next generation of British sporting talent and we look forward to many more years together as the programme continues to grow. Success in sport takes a huge amount of dedication and commitment and the Academy plays an indispensable role in nurturing this. The athletes have a lot to gain from being part of it."
These talented young athletes represent a total of 22 different sporting disciplines, from cycling to speed skating including able-bodied and disabled athletes who are based across the UK.
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