Chichester university helps young sports stars on road to fame

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ATHLETES aiming for gold at future Olympic Games are among those selected to receive gifted athlete scholarships from the University of Chichester.

John Kunzi, 30, will combine his studies to become a teacher with his judo training as he tries to muscle his way into the Team GB squad for next summer’s London Games.

Amy Seabright, 19, has her sights set four years further down the road. Sailing in the 470 class at Olympic transitional level, she is hoping to draw on the university’s track record in working with Olympic sailing gold medallists and aim for her own success in the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

They’re two of the five athletes who have received gifted athlete scholarships with the university for the current academic year.

It provides them with financial support to cover expenses occurred attending training sessions, as well as free membership to the university gym and a strength and conditioning programme designed to complement their existing training programme while at uni.

The others receiving full scholarships are James Kidd, 19, who is targeting a place in the national lacrosse team for next year’s European Championships after success at under-19 level, England youth hockey player Charlotte Cox, 18, and Sarah Fogwill, 23, who was England’s player of the tournament in the recent Indoor Cricket World Cup in South Africa.

Dr Sarah Gilroy, executive dean at the university and a former England hockey coach, said: “Our scholarship scheme is designed to give our students the support to succeed academically and maintain their sporting performance at the same time.

“We have a fine selection of athletes this year involved at a national and international level and I wish them every success with achieving their goals for the forthcoming year.”

Ten half scholarships have been awarded to athletes who regularly compete at a regional level.

They are Philip Peters (road racing), Joseph Viner (golf), Samuel Jones (Australian rules football), Michael Kelly (Australian rules football), Aaron Gear (basketball), Ian Marshall (basketball), Nathan Palmer (hockey), Rebecca Thompson-Agbro (football), Cally Beaumont (football) and Sarah Kempson (football).

Sid Fletcher, sports development manager for the university’s Students’ Union, said: “There was a great deal of competition for the scholarships this year from athletes who have recently joined the university.

“All of our chosen scholars have demonstrated a commitment to their chosen sport, and will be representing Chichester in British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions this year as well as in their own events.”