Hampshire County Council back homegrown olympians competing in Rio after sporting scheme

HAMPSHIRE County Council has helped seven athletes from the county compete at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

Saturday, 6th August 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:17 pm

The seven, who include five paralympians, have found their way to Brazil after support from the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme.

Hockey player Alex Danson, swimmers Alice Tai and Mikey Jones, boccia player David Smith and athletes Olivia Breen, Stephanie Twell and Georgie Hermitage are all competing as part of Team GB.

The council’s executive member for culture, recreation and countryside, Andrew Gibson, says that the hopefuls have ‘worked incredibly hard and showed great dedication’.

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He said: ‘We’re very proud of the support we’ve provided these magnificent seven athletes, as well as many other sportsmen and women who aspire to achieve similar goals.’

The scheme offers provides competition grants and free training at leisure centres, as well as physiotherapy and sport science support.

Para swimmer Alice Tai, 17, says that HTAS helped her succeed.

She said: ‘It’s provided essential funding to enable me to get to this point as well as free use of my local leisure centres, which allows me to train during school holidays.’