Rider to get fi­nan­cial back­ing and men­tor­ing on pro­gramme

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Jack Miller tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­

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.

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

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