Two Hartpury modern pentathletes will be looking to make their mark at the GB Youth International after both secured top 10 finishes in January’s ranking competition.
Bradley Sutton and Harry Sykes, both 16, finished sixth and seventh respectively in the Under-19s category at the event on January 17th, with Bradley finishing an impressive second in the swim section of the competition.
Both boys have benefited from a funding boost recently from schemes that support the development of talented athletes and are aimed specifically at helping them continue to be selected for high level events.
Reigning European Biathle Champion, Bradley, who was recently awarded the Junior Sportsman award at the Basingstoke and Deane Sport Awards, has been awarded £3315 as part of the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme.
His training partner at Hartpury, Harry Sykes, has been awarded £1000 through SportsAid, a scheme which helps several other elite sports students at the college.
This funding allows both Harry and Bradley to compete at the very highest level. Harry was the 2014 Modern Pentathlon Under-17s National Champion while Bradley is the reigning under-17s European Biathle Champion.
“Being a dedicated pentathlete is costly and without the funding I receive, I don’t think I would be able to compete at the level I am now,” Bradley said.
“It goes towards things like my physiotherapy and strength and conditioning training and also helps with things like gym membership and bus passes when I’m away from college.”
At a time when costs associated with training and competition are on the increase, the schemes are seen by many current and previous recipients as a much-needed injection of support
Harry added: “Modern Pentathlon is a constantly changing sport and this funding will allow me to keep up-to-date with things like the latest changes in laser shooting for example.
“The money allows me to continue to train alongside my studies without having to worry about trying to fit a part-time job in somewhere as well. With our packed schedule, that’s just not possible.”
Several other Hartpury students, including the likes of new England women’s senior rugby star, Abbie Brown, and aspiring Paralympian, Scott Jones, are also recipients of funding which helps them develop in their chosen sport.
Having been named as one of the most recent Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) Accredited Centres, Hartpury will also welcome a number of new aspiring athletes over the coming year as part of the scheme that has produced Olympic and Paralympic medal winners by supporting them through specialist, tailored elite sport programmes.
Since 2004, when the first TASS awards were made, the scheme has invested over £24million into athletes and the supporting network around them, providing up to 6000 awards enabling thousands of talented athletes to fulfil their sporting potential and become medal winners of the future.
The likes of Olympic gold medallists Helen Glover (rowing) and Rebecca Adlington (swimming) as well as double-Paralympic gold medal winner dressage rider, Natasha Baker (MBE), and current World Skeleton Champion Shelley Rudman have all been part of the scheme.
TASS currently works with over 40 sports, including men’s, women’s and disability sports. Hartpury will find out over the coming weeks how many athletes and in which sports they will be offering support for the programme.