ATH­LETE GETS CASH LIFE­LINE

Ath­lete hopes to erase dis­ap­point­ment of Lon­don Games

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Matt Lewis matt.lewis@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

NIGEL Levine hopes fresh fund­ing will help him go for glory at his sec­ond Olympic Games and this sum­mer’s World Cham­pi­onships.

Sixty-nine tal­ented young Hilling­don ath­letes are set to ben­e­fit from a new £41,050 award pot from a GLL Sport Foun­da­tion (GSF) cash in­jec­tion.

Levine, who at­tended Brunel Uni­ver­sity in Uxbridge, is one of the group to re­ceive the cash boost ahead of Au­gust’s World Cham­pi­onships in Bei­jing and next year’s show­piece in Rio.

He missed out on the 400m fi­nal at Lon­don 2012 and was dropped from Team GB’s 4x400 men’s re­lay quar­tet for the fi­nal, de­spite help­ing them book their place in the show­down.

Levine al­ready has plans for the money and will put it to good use as he ramps up prepa­ra­tions and looks to bet­ter that semi-fi­nal dis­ap­point­ment of three years ago.

“My aim will be to make the World Cham­pi­onship fi­nals in Bei­jing and also the Olympic games in Rio next year,” ex­plained the GSF and Hilling­don am­bas­sador ath­lete.

“This award back­ing will go to­wards living costs in Lon­don and warm weather camps to get ready for the tri­als for th­ese com­pe­ti­tions.”

The sup­ported ath­letes rep­re­sent sports across Olympic, Par­a­lympic, Deafly­mpic and Spe­cial Olympic sport­ing dis­ci­plines.

Most of the fund­ing is de­signed to help young de­vel­op­ing tal­ent and 64 per cent of awards are to ath­letes aged un­der 21.

Th­ese are dif­fi­cult times for young ath­letes, when fund­ing is not eas­ily avail­able and the costs of com­pe­ti­tion and train­ing are high.

In­deed, 86 per cent of GSF award re­cip­i­ents re­ceive no other sport fund­ing.

An­other GSF sup­ported cy­clist, Anna Marie Hughes, 17, from Hilling­don, has clear aims and the foun­da­tion is sup­port­ing her.

“My as­pi­ra­tions are to reach the best of my po­ten­tial, pro­gress­ing up the Bri­tish Cy­cling pro­grammes and to rep­re­sent Great Bri­tain in events such as the Olympics,” she said.

“I also want to be­come a pro­fes­sional rider.

“The sup­port I re­ceive will help to­wards my goals, used for both train­ing and events, in terms of fi­nan­cial and/or ac­cess to fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices.”

Sup­ported ath­letes re­ceive award packages that in­clude fi­nan­cial grants of up to £1,250, which are used to fund com­pe­ti­tion ex­penses and sport­ing costs.

They also gain ac­cess to sports science, per­for­mance sport and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties all fo­cussed to­wards sup­port­ing their ath­lete jour­ney.

Photo by Reuters

n BIG PLANS: Nigel Levine in ac­tion at the 2012 Lon­don Olympics

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