A giant LEAP for youngsters

Nesta Baxter.
Nesta Baxter.

Four young Boston-area sports stars have been accepted onto the 2017 Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme programme.

Great Britain kickboxer Nesta Baxter, tennis ace Vicki Beardsley, wheelchair basketball player Charlie Bonner and rugby youngster Sophie Lorenz are among the 18 athletes set to receive support.

Charlie Bonner.

Charlie Bonner.

LEAP, an Active Lincolnshire project that’s sponsored by Firstaid4sport, provides bursaries to potential sporting talent in Lincolnshire.

The programme is now in its ninth year and in the past it has supported some famous names at the start of their careers, including Olympic hockey gold medallist Shona McCallin and motor racing driver Jack Harvey, who has just competed in the Indy 500.

This year the programme is supporting 18 athletes, 15 at county level and three who have made it to international standard.

The county standard athletes all receive £250 and international athletes receive £750 in funding.

Nesta will receive international-level support, with the other three collecting county bursaries.

The athletes can use the funding to support any element of their training or for competitions they enter.

Vicky Beardsley, a 16-year-old tennis player from Boston said: “I was so excited to be chosen as a LEAP athlete for this year.

“It has made me even more determined to train hard, work hard and try to achieve my best-ever results.

“The funding I will receive will enable me to travel to some bigger tournaments and gain experience of playing on bigger stages than I have been used to.”

Sophie, 14, added: “I feel honoured to be a LEAP athlete.

“I work extremely hard at my sport and to be recognised for it is brilliant.”

For a full list of successful athletes visit: activelincolnshire.com/sport/lincolnshire-elite-athlete-programme.

To get in touch about the Supporters’ Club, please contact Active Lincolnshire via email at communications@activelincolnshire.com or call 01522 730 325.