The Jaguar Academy of Sport presented 50 young athletes with their Jaguar Academy of Sport Bursary Awards at a ceremony at the Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames.
The 50 athletes were chosen through a selection process conducted by SportsAid, which administers the Bursary Fund for the Jaguar Academy. Patrons and Ambassadors of the Jaguar Academy of Sport include the likes of David Beckham, Sir Chris Hoy and Jessica Ennis, all of who were integral to the process.
The athletes come from all over the country and cover a range of 36 sporting disciplines, ranging from athletics and cycling through fencing and modern pentathlon. This year is the Academy of Sport's second year of supporting Rising Stars having donated £200,000 so far.
The Jaguar Academy of Sport also provides a Mentoring and Education Programme, which provides Rising Stars with non-financial support to ensure their success. This includes workshops and talent days with focus on key areas to move the athletes from talented to elite.
The first talent day was hosted by Dame Kelly Holmes, with the Rising Stars being presented with their bursary cheques and certificates. Sir Steve Redgrave was also present giving the Rising Stars a master class on how to be successful within the sporting arena. Other Patrons and Ambassadors including Denise Lewis, Gareth Edwards, Jamie Baulch, Colin Jackson and Tim Henman also attended the event.
Geoff Cousins, Managing Director, Jaguar UK stated: "We are delighted to be announcing our second group of Rising Stars and very excited that the Jaguar Academy of Sport is moving into its second year. Jaguar is dedicated to supporting Britain's next generation of sporting talent and I look forward to seeing their progress over the coming year."
Sir Steve Redgrave commented: "It has been great to be here today at the Leander Club, where I used to train and prepared for four of my Olympic Games, with such promising young sporting talent. I feel very privileged to be able to pass on some advice through sharing experiences over my professional career and hopefully I have provided them with some inspiration to go on and be as successful as possible and achieve their goals."
Dame Kelly Holmes commented: "It is great to once again see so much sporting talent in one room and a real pleasure to be working with the 2011 Rising Stars. The Mentoring and Education Programme which is provided to the Jaguar Academy of Sport Rising Stars is truly unique to the initiative and a great support alongside the bursary."
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