BMX STAR GIDEON’S ON THE TEAM
Rider to get financial backing and mentoring on programme
HAYES BMX rider Gideon Orena has been singled out for his sporting achievements and handed a prestigious spot on the 2015 Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport programme.
Orena is in world class-company on the programme, with the likes of Jade Jones, who won taekwondo gold at the Olympic Games in 2012 in London, one of the first recipients of an Academy of Sport bursary back in 2010.
The 15-year-old, who finished 11th at the 2014 World Championships, experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity last week as he attended a workshop hosted by rugby World Cup winner Lewis Moody and also included guests lectures from the likes of swimmer Sharon Davies and former England flanker Maggie Alphonsi on nutrition and mentoring.
Just 276 star athletes have been awarded with an Academy bursary since 2010, with 35 per cent of Jaguar Land Rover Academy alumni progressing to professional or world class funding level – which demonstrates the huge potential of Hayes Hawks BMX Club’s Orena in the years ahead.
He said: “It started off as a rivalry with a friend. We’d always compete at every single other sport and the one sport that I didn’t do but he did was BMX.
“So I got into it and, a year after, I finally beat him and became British champion. It’s gone from there.”
The Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport is an initiative which aims to recognise, celebrate and inspire the next generation of British sporting talent through a world class mentoring programme
This year the academy has provided bursaries to 50 young and inspirational able-bodied and disabled athletes, who are recognised as being top of their game.
As well as offering financial support, a mentoring and education programme provides these rising star athletes with the non-financial support they need to help them on their road to success
Ambassador, Moody, who spent individual time with all of the athletes at the workshop, is convinced Orena has a hugely exciting future ahead of him.
“Being mentored as a young athlete is key,” said Moody, who helped England claim World Cup glory in 2003.
“There’s so much information out there which I think I missed as a young man, and all you’ve got to do is go out and ask the questions of the nutritionists and the psychologists.
“So I’d tell them all to make sure they never lose the enjoyment of their sport, as if they enjoy something they will want to be better at it.
“And also never give up, as there will be so many points in their careers where they may face disappointment or injury, so they need to be stubborn enough to continue in the knowledge that you don’t want to reach the end of your career wondering if you could have given more.”
Gideon Orena attended the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport workshop and mentored by ambassadors Lewis Moody and Maggie Alphonsi and SportsAid patrons Danny Crates, Bryan Steel and Kerri-Ann Payne. For more information visit sportsaid. org.uk.
n MENTORS: Gideon Orena (centre) with ex England players Lewis Moody and Maggie Alphonsi at the first Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport workshop held at Twickenham