Up-and-coming local riders are being offered a helping hand by Lloyds TSB as part of the company’s sponsorship of London 2012.
The Lloyds TSB Local Heroes scheme is providing 250 promising young athletes from a variety of disciplines with up to £1,000 in grants towards helping them reach higher levels in their sports.
The selected athletes are already performing at top GB or European levels within their age groups, but have not yet made that essential breakthrough performance into senior level.
And the chosen sportspeople will star in Lloyds TSB regional advertising campaigns to help raise their profiles within their local areas.
Dressage riders, paradressage riders and event riders have all been chosen as “Local Heroes”.
Bobby Hayler, 16, from Chelmsford, Robyn Walker, 14, from Suffolk and Alice Thompson, 17, from Newcastle upon Tyne have been selected for dressage, while Lara Dennis, 39, from Market Rasen and Lorna Lee, 30 from Nantwich have been chosen for paradressage.
Event riders Dani Evans (pictured), 16, from Bristol, Mary Edmundson, 16, from Woodbridge and Isabel Dijvanovic, 17, from Warminster have also been selected.
Dani Evans said: “Having my own advertising campaign is amazing and doing the photo shoot was so much fun – I felt like I was famous! People in my hometown will now know all about my training, where I’m competing and what I’ve achieved. That wouldn’t have happened without the support of Lloyds TSB Local Heroes.”
Run in partnership with Sports Aid ‘Local Heroes’ aims to provide the young sportsmen their first official recognition of their hard work and potential.
More than £1million has been invested into the scheme.
Sally Hancock, from Lloyds TSB said: “The 2012 Games will take place in London, but it’s young people from all around the country who’ll carry Britain’s hopes for 2012 and beyond. Lloyds TSB Local Heroes is intended to recognise and support young people starting out on their journey with optimism and determination. ”
Lord Sebastian Coe added: “This initiative is exactly the kind of support British sport needs over the next five years. These young athletes are potential Olympic and Paralympic medal winners at London 2012 and beyond and the support ‘Lloyds TSB Local Heroes’ provides to them will make a real difference to their development.”