A TALENTED young athlete has been awarded funding to help her on her way to future Olympic glory.
Fourteen-year-old Lucy Peers is currently ranked third in the UK for the 200m breaststroke and was chosen by Hampshire County Council to benefit from its Talented Athletes Scheme (HTAS).
The Waterlooville schoolgirl was one of 181 sportsmen and women across the county to receive help from the scheme, which has and still is supporting Rio 2016 Olympic medal winners.
Claire Peers, mum to Lucy, is pleased her daughter received the funds.
She said: ‘Lucy got a £900 package which includes one year of free access to Waterlooville Leisure Centre, where she trains for 15 hours per week, and funds for travel and accommodation costs for different competitions.
‘This will really help us.’
Lucy, who attends Horndean Technology College, is part of Havant and Waterlooville Swimming Club’s Performance Squad.
She said: ‘I started swimming six years ago and although it’s hard, I love it.
‘My idol is Molly Renshaw who has an Olympic medal in the 200m breaststroke. I’d love to be an Olympic swimmer.’
The young star is aiming to take part in the British Summer Championships and this month is competing in the South East Regionals.
Claire added: ‘Lucy is the Hampshire county champion in all breaststrokes – 50m, 100m and 200m.
‘She also won the open-age group category as well, which is usually for 16 and above.
‘My daughter is following her dreams and I’m very proud of her. Swimmers sacrifice a lot because their sport is so time-intensive.’
Councillor Andrew Gibson, executive member for culture, recreation and countryside, said: ‘The scheme is a real success. We were all inspired by the record medal haul of GB athletes at Rio, including five HTAS athletes who won eight medals.
‘We’re delighted to support the next generation of talented athletes.’