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East End breeds new generation of 2012 Olympic hopefuls

PUBLISHED: 09:49 22 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:55 05 October 2010

A NEW generation of sporting heroes is being developed in the East End—ready for the 2012 Olympics by developing

Some 14 youngsters who have excelled in their chosen sport have been selected by Town Hall bosses to be part of Team Tower Hamlets, funded for the next three years in the run-up to the Games by the local authority

By Mike Brooke

A NEW generation of sporting heroes is being developed in London’s East End—ready for the 2012 Olympics.

A squad of 14 youngsters who have excelled in their chosen sport have been selected by Town Hall bosses to be part of Team Tower Hamlets, funded for the next three years in the run-up to the Games by the local authority.

Athletes include tennis sensation Lucas Taylor from Bethnal Green, ranked number 1 in the country for under 12s who has played for the Great Britain squad.

Schoolboy Tunde Judon is ranked fifth at under-17 level for 100m sprint. The 15-year-old represented England in the Catholic School Finals in Portugal along with Quincie Michael. Both are pupils at Shadwell’s Bishop Challoner Boys’ School.

The scheme is aimed at helping the athletes remain and succeed in their chosen sport as part of Team Tower Hamlets.

They receive grants of up to £3,000 for travel and competition fees, additional coaching, clothing and equipment.

“Many of our athletes have the potential to be Olympic standard,” said a council spokesman. “This scheme ensures they get all the support they need to be the best.”

One Olympic hopeful is Perri Shakes-Drayton, from Poplar, who has reached international standard with help from the Neighbourhood Renewal fund. She got one-to-one coaching sessions with her club in addition to her usual training sessions.

The 400-metre hurdler competed in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in August, where she made the semi final.

The scheme to highlight sporting prowess in Tower Hamlets, one of five Olympic host’ boroughs, also looks after the stars of tomorrow’ if things go wrong. It takes care of injury with its partnership with Tower Hamlets NHS and the Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine at Mile End Hospital.

Nothing, it seems, is left to chance.


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