CLITHEROE’S Elizabeth Highton has realised a lifelong ambition after being selected to represent England at the Senior Commonwealth Championships for fencing in September.
And she has also been recognised in a county-wide funding scheme, supported by Warburtons, Lancashire Sport and the Duchy of Lancaster, and awarded £500 towards even greater success.
The 20-year-old will fence in the Commonwealth Championships in Melbourne later this year, and has set herself the goal of bringing home two medals.
The fund will go some way towards her achieving her aim, and Elizabeth was honoured at a prestigious ceremony at Preston County Hall last week, hosted by the chairman of Lancashire County Council, Cllr Geoffrey Roper, with Peter Mileham High Sheriff of Lancashire in attendance.
Grants are intended to help with costs such as travel, training, accommodation, competition fees and equipment, specialist coaching and other support like physiotherapy or nutritional advice.
Elizabeth was delighted to achieve the award: “I’m so pleased to be given this award, I have European competitions to attend and also little funding to support my trip to Melbourne for the Commonwealth Championships, so the bursary will really help with travel costs.”
Warburtons marketing director, Richard Hayes said the family bakers were delighted to be backing the scheme. “Families make such sacrifices to see their children achieve. This fund will go some way to helping with the costs of becoming a world class performer. Our best wishes go to everyone benefiting from this initiative.”
Chief executive of Lancashire Sport Adrian Leather said: “Interventions like this at such a crucial time can often be the difference between a young sports person continuing and achieving in their chosen sport or quitting. We are delighted with the response to the scheme so far.”
Chairman of Lancashire County Council, Cllr Geoffrey Roper, said he was delighted to host such an inspiring occasion: “I was pleased to present the athletes with their awards. Lancashire is full of talented young people and it’s great that, with this funding, they’ll be able to invest in the training and equipment they need to get to the next level. I wish them all the best as they look to become the Olympic stars of 2012.”