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Bryony's talent set to burn bright thanks to SportAid grant

PUBLISHED: 16:22 08 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:39 02 July 2010

Promising Norwich sailor Bryony Bennett-Lloyd, who was presented with a £500 grant by SportsAid. Photo: Antony Kelly

Promising Norwich sailor Bryony Bennett-Lloyd, who was presented with a £500 grant by SportsAid. Photo: Antony Kelly

Michael Bailey

SportsAid has come to Bryony Bennett-Lloyd - and she hopes to benefit as much as the Olympian who presented her cheque.

The 14-year-old Norwich High School for Girls pupil was handed £500 from the foundation by British Olympic javelin thrower Goldie Sayers, at a lunchtime ceremony held in Carrow Road's Jarrold Stand last month.

SportsAid has come to Bryony Bennett-Lloyd - and she hopes to benefit as much as the Olympian who presented her cheque.

The 14-year-old Norwich High School for Girls pupil was handed £500 from the foundation by British Olympic javelin thrower Goldie Sayers, at a lunchtime ceremony held in Carrow Road's Jarrold Stand last month.

Bennett-Lloyd is highly rated at under-16 level having started sailing five years ago with club races on Hickling Broad. Since then the north Norwich youngster has blossomed into an international competitor in a sport Great Britain has proven pedigree - and she hopes to live the dream and appear on world sport's biggest stage.

“It's quite an exciting sport and you get to meet lots of new people and get to go to new places,” said Bennett-Lloyd, who has already earmarked what her £500 windfall will be going towards.

“It will just help to get me to a lot of events and help me to qualify for different national squads, as well as getting me into my next boat - and hopefully an Olympics squad. I think that would be a really amazing experience.

“Watching it in 2008 the British team was really successful and that is what I would like to do.”

Three years ago she was racing toppers in East Anglia, but Bennett-Lloyd has swiftly moved into national events and after being picked for the national intermediate squad last year, Bryony now has a place in the full national junior squad for 2010.

A World Championships on Italy's Lake Garda, a series of national events and the National Championships are on the calendar for 2010 and following the recognisition of SportsAid, Bennett-Lloyd's confidence should be sky high, according to Sayers.

The GB Olympian received the same grant in 1997 as a fresh faced javelin thrower - which she spent on a javelin and a pair of spikes.

Sayers believes the awards provide a great boost to budding young Olympians. She said: “It's not just the money but also the recognition, that an organisation is recognising your talent.

“As a youngster that means a hell of a lot.”

Sayers is already looking forward to this summer's European Championships after a terrible 2009, and hopes to help coach Tim Newenham with his development of a promising group of young throwers at City of Norwich Athletic Club.

“I've been down there and I've done a couple of sessions throwing with them, and they are a really lovely group of kids as well, so I really hope they do well,” said Sayers. “I'm hoping to come down a bit more when the weather is better and throw at Norwich, because I think it's a nice place to train.

“And it's always nice to train with aspiring youngsters who are better than you were at the same age. It keeps you motivated and it's an exciting time for them. Tim has done a great job with them.”

Ü Founded in 1976, SportsAid has been supporting promising young athletes aged 12 to 16, across a range of able-bodied and disability sports.

The foundation has distributed around £20m over the last 30 years and currently awards 2,500 grants a year - with 18 of the gold medals won at the Beijing Olympics won by SportsAid recipients.

For more information on SportsAid, visit sportsaid.org.uk

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