Boost for 2012 Olympic hopefuls

  • Nine riders have received financial support under the 2012 Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, which will help them develop their potential in view of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    The TASS is a government-funded scheme that sets out to help athletes combine sport with education or a career through scholarships and bursars.

    “This exciting new scheme provides our most promising future Olympians with top quality sporting services and access to good quality training facilities,” explains five time Olympic champion and TASS ambassador Sir Stephen Redgrave CBE.

    To boost British success in 2012, the TASS has now developed a dedicated programme, which complements the standard TASS and the World Class Start and Potential Programme. Tass 2012 scholars who are in the World Class Potential Programme will receive additional funding of up to £5,000 a year. Those who aren’t will receive up to £10,000 a year.

    Nine riders have been granted TASS 2012 support. Seven of them — Paralympic riders Elizabeth Stone and Lara Dennis, eventers Kitty Boggis and Chris King, dressage riders Spencer Wilton and Sarah Millis, and show jumper Robert Whitaker (pictured) — are already part of the World Class and Potential Programme. The other two scholars are Francis Whittington, who belongs to eventing’s National B squad, and show jumper James Wingrave.

    The Tass 2012 funds must be spent on a bespoke package created by the relevant sport’s governing bodies and, in this case, it is likely that the nine riders will use the money to train and compete abroad.

    “This is fantastic news and will benefit these riders enormously,” says World Class Start & Potential Manager, Victoria Underwood. “It once again highlights the growing confidence in the British Equestrian Team and associated programmes such as World Class.”

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