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Friday 17 January 2014

Youth sports stars welcomed to TAS

Following a tough selection process, eleven of the city’s brightest sports stars have been accepted onto the newly launched Southampton Talented Athlete Scheme.

Run and funded by Southampton Solent University, the new sports programme aims to help the city’s talented young athletes fulfil their sporting potential.

Solent already runs a successful high performance academy for elite athletes at the University, and has provided sport science and coaching support for the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme for a number of years.

Teaching facilities on the scheme.

“We have the facilities, knowledge and expertise to encourage the highest possible level of achievement from these promising young athletes. As well as being a great opportunity for the city’s young athletes, this scheme will provide valuable real world experience for our students,” says Phil Green, director of the University’s Sport Solent.

Applicants have to be aged between 12-18 years; live in Southampton; have a national or international ranking, or be in the top 20 ranking within their age group; and compete in a sport recognised by UK Sport and Sport England.

The successful applicants will now have access to the University’s specialist facilities, equipment and sports science expertise.

They will receive strength and conditioning training sessions; physiotherapy treatments; athlete workshops; free access to all of the University’s sports facilities; a free First or Blue Line bus pass; and access to other sports facilities in Southampton.

Jordan Campbell from Kings Sixth Form College is one of the athletes to be accepted onto the elite athlete programme. Nationally, the 16-year-old is ranked second in her age group (under 17s) and came first in the England Athletics national competition in 2013.

The other talented athletes joining her are: Jeamy Navarro Schrank, three times Taekwondo national champion; Lewys Oakley and Portia Angove, 2nd place at Sofia Bulgaria International, diving; Robbie Brodie ,1m national diving champion; Theo Barnes, 2nd in the national age group, diving; Mohammed Mohammed, ranked 9th in English Schools athletics; Archie Waldock, British Taekwondo champion; Owen Lawrence, 2nd place in England athletics champions; and Oliver Bromby, 100m English Schools champion.

The scheme’s potential starters.

Southampton Talented Athlete Scheme is also supported by Southampton City Council and Active Nation.

In addition to offering a wide range of sports-related courses, the University is producing world-class athletes, such as graduate Helena Lucas became Great Britain’s first ever sailing gold medallist at the 2012 Paralympic Games, business student and 2010 match racing champion Kate Macgregor and graduate Beijing Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison sailed for Team GB at the London 2012 games. Ryan Ponsonby Burl represents Zimbabwe in under-19s cricket, and scored a couple of half centuries in the 2012 world cup and recent graduate Greg Bridget won the ABA in April 2013 and is now part of the GB Boxing development squad and a hopeful for Rio in 2016.

Any young athletes wanting more information about the scheme should contact