News Initial Thanet Roadrunners AC Young Persons Sports Development Fund Awards Initial Thanet Roadrunners AC Young Persons Sports Development Fund Awards


Report by Ed Heardman
2010-09-19 17:15:34

Initial Thanet Roadrunners AC Young Persons Sports Development Fund Awards


Thanet Roadrunners AC are pleased to announce that the first set of awards across 3 different sports have been made from their Young Persons Sports Development Fund following the first round of applications.


Ben Burton who currently represents Invicta East Kent AC is the first successful applicant.  Ben has been involved in athletics most of his life having started off as a pure runner aged around 6 with Thanet Roadrunners AC and has developed over the years and moved towards more track and field orientated events.  Currently Ben is training and competing in the octathlon event which is like the Olympic sport of decathlon but over 8 events – shot putt, discus, javelin, long jump, high jump, 100m hurdles, 400m and 1500m.  His next event is the England Schools National Combined Events Championships in September in which he will be competing in the Under 17s category.  Ben hopes in the future to gain his England vest and to go on to the full decathlon next year when he moves up an age group.  Given the wide variety of sports involved there is a fair amount of equipment required and Ben has already used some of the grant awarded to buy specialist spikes for the various different disciplines.


Secondly awards have been made to 4 swimmers from Thanet Swim Club. All 4 of the awards given will go towards the costs of the swimmers attending the National Youth Championships held at the Ponds Forge pool in Sheffield in August held at the start of this month.


17-year-old Louise Gates has been training since she was 9 and trains 3 mornings and 5 evenings per week in addition to completing her A-levels.  Last year she competed at the British Grand Prix in Leeds alongside Olympic swimmers and holds event best performances at the Kent County Championships in 800m and 1500m freestyle.  In the future Louise hopes to compete for the Kent county team and achieve qualifying times for the 2011 British Championships and is hoping to continue her swimming at university in the future.


Awards were also made to 3 young swimmers, Harry Bradford, Alex Wilmshurst and Jordan Brett. All 3 boys have worked very hard at their swimming and between them have achieved 22 National Qualifying Times for 2010.  Harry picked up 3 medals in the 2010 Kent Championships and 4 at the South-East Championships and has ambitions of picking up medals at National level and going on to represent Great Britain eventually.  Alex finished 3rd overall in the Kent Championships including 2 gold medals and also picked up 4 medals at the South-East Championships to finish 4th overall in this regional event.  He aims to achieve a podium finish in the National Age Group Championships and to continue to improve his county and regional performances.  Jordan placed 3rd in his age category at the South-East Regionals winning at total of 8 medals and was part of a school swim team which won the medley relay and was 4th in the freestyle relay at the National Schools Championships – he is also aiming at a podium finish in Sheffield.


Finally an extraordinary award has been made to visually impaired archer Lewis March.  Lewis has already achieved much being a member of the Centre for Excellence for Disabled Archers in Kent, as well as Thanet and District Sport for the Disabled, and he regularly participates in the National Indoor and Outdoor Championships under the auspices of British Blind Sport.  Lewis currently holds 14 Kent and National Records including many over the 60 metre distance, which is unusual, as blind archers usually only shoot over the 30 metre distance.  Lewis competes with the aid of a spotter, his coach Peter March, and also uses specialist equipment including a foot locator and a tactile sight.  Unfortunately, blind archery is yet to be recognised as a paralympic sport, but coaches involved in the paralympic set up have called Lewis the “face of the future” in efforts to get this sport included in future editions.


Thanet Roadrunners AC is proud to be able to support these young sports people in their sporting endeavours and wishes them all the best of luck in their upcoming competitions.


Young sports people are reminded that they can download an application form and supporting documents from the club website,, or contact Club Chairman Mark Foster on 01843 584909 for further details if they wish to apply for an award from the Thanet Roadrunners AC Yong Persons Sports Development Fund.


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