The 2017 cohort of the Hampshire Talented Athletes Scheme (HTAS) includes 181 sportsmen and women from across the county, who aim to follow in the footsteps of some of the scheme’s former athletes - including gold medal winners at the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
Councillor Andrew Gibson, Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, said: “The Talented Athlete Scheme is a real success story and has helped put Hampshire on the sporting map. We were all inspired by the record medal haul of GB athletes at Rio, including five HTAS athletes who won eight medals.
“We know from speaking to the sportsmen and women how much of a difference the scheme made to their sporting careers, particularly when they were young and support from national sporting bodies was not always available. We’re delighted to support the next generation of talented athletes, including many aiming for glory at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.”
HTAS is funded by the County Council and administered by the independent charity Energise Me. All 181 athletes will have access to free training at leisure centres and free bus travel, whilst 105 of the athletes will receive grant funding worth a total of £35,200 for competition and travel costs. A further £10,800 will fund fast track physiotherapy, sport science workshops and attendance by athletes at school assemblies, to inspire the next generation and encourage children to be more active.
Richard Millard, chairman of the Energise Me board of trustees, added: “We are very proud of the athletes on the scheme, especially for being fantastic role models and sharing their journeys to sporting excellence with local primary schools - to encourage and inspire Hampshire’s schoolchildren to take part in physical activity and sport, and to strive to reach their goals.”
Notes to editors
Medal winning HTAS athletes at Rio 2016 included Odiham’s Alex Danson MBE who won gold with the women’s hockey team at the Olympics. At the Paralympics, sprinter Georgie Hermitage from Alton won two gold and silver medals, New Milton swimmer Alice Tai won gold and bronze, Eastleigh’s David Smith won gold in Boccia whilst New Milton swimmer Mikey Jones also won gold.
Alice Tai, 18, and Mikey Jones, 22, will continue to benefit from HTAS as part of the 2017 cohort, which also includes:
- Esther Adeshina, New Forest district - GB Under 16s tennis player who won the singles and doubles events at three consecutive International Tennis Federation Junior (ITF) events in 2016.
- Serena Vincent, Eastleigh district - record breaking shot putter who won every competition she entered in 2016 including English Schools and the Independent Schools Association (ISA) Nationals.
- Dan Reynaldo, Basingstoke district – cricketer with England’s Physical Disability Team who won the inaugural Red Cross International T20 Tournament in 2015.
- Will Flynn, Eastleigh district – member of the England Physical Disability Cricket Team who has his sights set on making the Lions squad.
- Emily Martin, New Forest district – Bergen Open International gold medal winning diver in the 1m, 3m, Platform and Synchro events.
- Lucy Peers, Havant district – swimmer ranked top 3 in the UK aged 13 years for 200m Breaststroke. She has also been selected for the England Talent Programme.
- Annie Lado, Winchester district – England programme badminton player competing internationally, regularly beating players above her age group in UK & Europe.
- Maisie Grice, Fareham district – top 5 ranked steeple chase athlete and silver medallist at the English School Games
- Max Cott, Gosport district – bronze medallist on Platform at the British Elite Junior Diving Championships.
- Gemma McArthur, Hart district - British National Women’s 10m Diving Champion, nominated for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
- India Lee, Test Valley district – GB triathlete who won the elite’s women’s event at the 2016 European Championships.
- Chris Snook, Rushmoor district - currently ranked first in 5,000m race walking and Schools International Athletic Board (SIAB) champion.
- Joe Truman, East Hampshire district – track cyclist who won gold in the team sprint at the 2016 Track Cycling World Cup, which was broadcast live on BBC2.