The 33-strong British team for the Youth Olympic Games in China next month includes 21 athletes who have been supported by SportsAid, the charity is proud to confirm today.
Among them is SportsAid's June 2014 athlete of the month Francesca Summers (see photo) who in May won back-to-back world titles at the youth and junior modern pentathlon world championships. She said, "Watching the Olympics in London two years ago was amazing and a huge inspiration for me. Hopefully Nanjing can be another step on my way to competing at an Olympics, so I'm really excited to represent Team GB in Nanjing. I've competed in China before, sharing the podium with my sister when we won bronze in the team world championships last year, so hopefully that's a good omen for when I'm in Nanjing."
Two other recent SportsAid athletes of the month in the team are junior world champion taekwondo athlete Abigail Stones from Liverpool and European cadet judo bronze medallist Lulu Piovesana from Sutton Coldfield, whose SportsAid Award comes from SSE.
Lulu said, "I can't wait to get out there and get the Team GB kit on. I'm hoping to challenge for a medal but also enjoy the whole experience that a Youth Olympic Games has to offer. It's such a big opportunity to learn and develop as an athlete."
Abigail said, "Jade Jones is a massive inspiration for me given her success at the first Youth Olympics in Singapore and then in London 2012. I have had the opportunity to train with her a couple of times and look forward to train with her again soon. I really hope I can follow in her footsteps in Nanjing. I'm junior world champion so I know I'm capable of finishing on that podium in China."
The full list of all 21 SportsAid athletes who have been selected for Team GB by the British Olympic Association are as follows:
- Bryony Pitman, 17, from Shoreham-by-Sea (SportsAid Award 2012 from Fedex):"Competing in Nanjing is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to get out there. It’s a massive event for archery at a junior level so I'm hoping to do well. I've won medals at both national and international competitions so I'm hoping that experience will help in China. My dad, Gary Kinghorn, competed for Great Britain and became world champion so it’s great to continue that trend in the family. My aim is one day be selected for the Olympic Games."
- Muhammad Ali, 18, from Keighley (SportsAid Awards 2012-14; 2014 award from Bradford b Active): "After winning silver at the World Youth Boxing Championships in April I'm feeling confident about my chances in Nanjing and see it as an opportunity to carry on that good form and enjoy more success."
- Viddal Riley, 17, from London (SportsAid Awards 2012 and 2014; 2014 award from RBC Wealth Management: "Getting the chance to fight at the Youth Olympics as part of Team GB is an incredible opportunity for me. Nanjing 2014 is a big multi-sport event so you get the chance to experience village life as well as learning from other athletes. I can't wait to get out there."
- Paul Sunderland, 17, from Stone on Trent (SportsAid Award 2014): "Being selected to compete in Nanjing and wear the Team GB kit is such a privilege. Ever since I first started paddling when I was eight years old it has been my aim to compete for my nation. I remember watching the canoeing at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012; to be given the opportunity to compete in such an event is a real inspiration. The racing is going to be something different for us, so it’s great to have that new experience and I'm sure it will help us develop as athletes."
- Victoria Murray, 15, from Aberfeldy (SportsAid Scotland Award 2012 from the Robertson Trust): "I can't wait to get out to China and start racing. To get the chance to compete internationally as part of Team GB is going to be an incredible experience and I'm really looking forward to all that the Youth Olympic Games has to offer."
- Jake Saywell, 17, from Upton (SportsAid Award 2010): "It's such an honour to be selected to compete for Team GB in Nanjing. My grandfather competed at an Olympic Games and my ambition is to one day follow in his footsteps so the Youth Olympic Games represent a big step towards that. I'm jumping well at the moment so I'm feeling confident going into the competition."
- Annabel Dimmock, 17 from Higher Denham (SportsAid Awards 2013-14 from GLL): "With golf returning to the Olympic Programme in Rio I am really excited to be representing Team GB in Nanjing. I'm looking forward to being part of a multi-sport event – it’s so different from the usual golf competitions so that’s really exciting."
- Robert MacIntyre, 17 from Oban (SportsAid Scotland Award 2013): "Being given the chance to wear the Team GB kit is a first for a golfer so it’s a real privilege to be selected. I've just won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters so I'm in good form and hoping to do well out in Nanjing in both the individual and with Annabel in the mixed team event."
- Ellie Downie, 14 from Nottingham (SportsAid Award 2013 from Nottingham Lunch Club): "I'm just coming off the back of a really good European Championships so my preparation for Nanjing has been great. I'm really looking forward to getting out there and competing for Team GB and I know if perform to the level I know I'm capable of pushing for a medal spot. Nanjing 2014 is set to be a great Games and I'm really excited about being part of a big multi-sport event in an Olympic environment."
- Zachary Sheridan, 17 from Poole (SportsAid Award 2011 from Tuixen): "Being selected to compete for Team GB in Nanjing is amazing. I'm hoping I can do myself justice when competing but it's also a fantastic learning opportunity and a chance to experience Olympic life."
- Peter Miles, 18 from Bristol (SportsAid Awards 2010-12 from Springboard and 2013-14): "I've managed to win medals at both the Cadet Europeans and Worlds so I'm aiming for a similar result from Nanjing despite having to move up two weight categories for it. I'm looking forward to fighting in Asia for the first time and learning from the experience. It should be a great event."
- Lulu Piovesana, 17 from Sutton Coldfield (SportsAid Awards 2012-14; 2014 from SSE): "I can't wait to get out there and get the Team GB kit on. I'm hoping to challenge for a medal but also enjoy the whole experience that a Youth Olympic Games has to offer. It's such a big opportunity to learn and develop as an athlete."
- Francesca Summers, 18 from Dorking (SportsAid Awards 2012-13 from Lloyds Bank Local Heroes and 2014): "Watching the Olympics in London two years ago was amazing and a huge inspiration for me. Hopefully Nanjing can be another step on my way to competing at an Olympics, so I'm really excited to represent Team GB in Nanjing. I've competed in China before, sharing the podium with my sister when we won bronze in the Team World Championships last year, so hopefully that’s a good omen for when I’m in Nanjing."
- Chris Lawrie, 17 from Bourne End (SportsAid Awards 2013-14): "Nanjing represents another fantastic learning opportunity for me at junior level so I'm excited to have been given the chance to go to China. Team GB have enjoyed so much success with rowing at Olympic level so it’s great to be a part of that."
- Anna Thornton, 16 from Nottingham (SportsAid Award 2013 from Nottingham Lunch Club and 2014): "I am really looking forward to visiting Nanjing. It will be exciting to be surrounded by so many talented athletes from a wide range of sports. As well as racing, it will be a great cultural and social experience."
- Martyn Walton, 16 from Stevenage (SportsAid Eastern Awards 2010-11 from Rotary 1260): "After competing for Team GB and winning bronze at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival, I'm really excited about the opportunity to wear the kit again and swimming for my country. Utrecht was a fantastic experience and Nanjing 2014 is going to be even bigger so I can’t wait to get out there and start racing."
- Miles Munro, 18 from Guernsey (SportsAid Award 2014): "My dream is to one day compete in the Olympics so to have the chance to swim as part of Team GB in Nanjing will be a great experience and I'm sure will be a huge learning opportunity for me. I'm National Champion in the 17/18 years 50m freestyle and this year I won bronze in the Junior Men's 100m freestyle at The British Championships so I'm hoping I can take that form to China and do well for the team."
- Jessica Fullalove, 17 from Oldham (SportsAid Award 2011 from Asda): "I'm really looking forward to getting out to Nanjing to compete. I've raced and won medals at a number of overseas swimming competitions but to be part of such a big multi-sport event is going to be a fantastic experience. Being selected to be part of Team GB is an amazing feeling and I can't wait to wear the Olympic rings in China."
- Georgina Evans, 17 from Liverpool (SportsAid Awards 2011-12 from Asda): "Being selected to represent Great Britain at the World Junior Championships last year was such a big moment in my career, but this is something even bigger. To be part of such a massive multi-sport event with thousands of athletes from hundreds of nations is going to be amazing. I've won medals at the World Juniors and at Nationals so I'm hopeful of producing more success at Nanjing 2014."
- Abigail Stones, 15 from Liverpool (SportsAid Award 2012 from Asda and 2014): "Jade Jones is a massive inspiration for me given her success at the first Youth Olympics in Singapore and then in London 2012. I have had the opportunity to train with her a couple of times and look forward to train with her again soon. I really hope I can follow in her footsteps in Nanjing. I'm Junior World Champion so I know I'm capable of finishing on that podium in China."
- Sian Rainsley, 17 from Coventry (SportsAid Awards 2012-14; 2012-13 from Lloyds Bank Local Heroes): "I finished sixth in the European qualifying so I know I've got a good chance of a placing well in Nanjing. Being part of a high-class junior international field will be great experience for me as well as having the chance to experience an Olympic environment. I'm really looking forward to all that Nanjing has to offer."