Elite scheme offers help to young sporting stars

Sporting stars: Hockey player Hollie Webb, front left, and patron Dan Walker, back row, second from right, with some of the other scholarship winners. PICTURE: LINDA BUSSEY

Sporting stars: Hockey player Hollie Webb, front left, and patron Dan Walker, back row, second from right, with some of the other scholarship winners. PICTURE: LINDA BUSSEY

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TOP young athletes from Sheffield University have received elite scholarshi ps designed to take them to the next level.

Football Focus presenter Dan Walker, a Sheffield graduate, awarded 31 students the Elite Sport Performance Scheme scholarship for their sporting potential and commitment to succeed in both academic work and athletics.

Dan, of Hunters Bar, a patron of the scheme, said: “This is a way for the young athletes to take a big step forward.

“It’s part of building a significant sporting centre for many years to come.

“Jessica Ennis was here last year and I’m sure every one of the scholars is inspired by her success on the track.

“She’s been through university so knows how important this sort of support can be for the people doing a sport at the same time.

“The hope is that some of the young men and women can go on to achieve something similar.”

The scheme was launched in 2010 by Jessica, a fellow patron.

It provides financial and non-financial support to talented athletes at the university, with benefits ranging from free access to the S10 Health Fitness Centre to physiotherapy and lifestyle mentoring.

The highest level of support includes a scholarship worth £1,000 which has been donated by local companies, alumni and friends of the university.

Great Britain hockey player Hollie Webb, an economics student, is one of those to receive a scholarship.

She said: “Without the scholarship I wouldn’t be able to play at the level I am and do well at university, so it’s helping me to reach my goals.

“The scholarship was one of the reasons I chose to come here as there’s not many others that would offer something like this.”