Team England has today announced the successful athletes that will be supported by newly founded Sir John Hanson Young Talent Scholarship.
Sutton Coldfield’s Kelly Petersen-Pollard is one of five young athletes that has been selected by the committee to be a recipient of the fund to aid her journey to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and beyond.
The scholarship has been designed to support the next generation of English talent as they embark on a challenging journey, assisting them in fulfilling their potential on the international stage.
Ahead of Birmingham 2022, the Sir John Hanson Young Talent Scholarship offers young athletes with an opportunity over the next three years to progress through to the Team England selections, boosting their chances to compete on home soil in 2022.
Kelly has had a fantastic year to date, medalling at every event she has entered, including winning gold at the Celje-Podcetrtek European Cup against senior athletes, despite still being a junior.
Upon hearing the news Kelly said: ‘I was really surprised at first when the email came on Wednesday as I knew so many high-level English athletes had applied, but also really happy. The Team England grant will really help my transition from junior level to senior. This will push me to the next level by helping fund me to attend senior Olympic training camps and competitions to gain valuable experience.’
‘Over the next 3 years the grant will help me to travel all over Europe to fight against, and train with, the best senior girls. This experience will help me progress to their level, hopefully gaining me a few medals to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.’
‘My goal for the remainder of the year is still the same, still trying to chase the Junior European and World medals. It’s been a busy year and a very successful one to date for me but the goal hasn’t changed.’
Tim Ellis, British Judo Performance Pathway Manager said: ‘The Scholarship is fantastic support for athletes aspiring to achieve at the highest level. We are all really pleased for Kelly and the work she has put in this year really does show both on and off the mat. She is a credit to her club, coach, and at such a young age is a good role model for those around her. The extra support for training camps and competitions will no doubt help her to progress onto senior level.’