Georgina gets boost to aid Olympic dream
HICKLING sailor Georgina Povall has been fast-tracked as a future British Olympian after being handpicked to join the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative.
The 16-year-old Norwich High School for Girls pupil will receive a cash injection of �1,000 towards training and competing and is one of only 262 up-and-coming athletes selected from across England and Wales, writes Paul Eddison, Sportsbeat.
Laser Radial specialist Povall attended the launch of the scheme at Loughborough University, where she rubbed shoulders with Olympic triple jump champion and world record holder Jonathan Edwards.
And Povall – a Hickling Sailing Club member – admits the scheme, and the fact the Olympics are coming to London, has left her hungrier than ever.
'The Lloyds TSB scheme is a great help financially because sailing can be a really expensive sport,' she said. 'I've just moved up to the Laser Radial and I want to do that at the World Youth Championships this year which are in La Rochelle in July.
'I've been there before but I was doing a different event and so in this one I will be racing against sailors that have been doing the sport for a lot longer and most will be a little bit older than me.
'The Olympics is going to be fantastic and I'd love to go down and watch. Ben Ainslie has been a great sailor over the years and I'm looking forward to seeing how he does.
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'I'd like to go to the Olympics one day but it's still a long way off yet. Maybe Rio 2016 or the 2020 Olympics as I know I have time on my side.'
In partnership with SportsAid, the Lloyds TSB, as part of Lloyds Banking Group, Local Heroes initiative is designed to ensure more talent reaches the top of their sport.
And Edwards, a former world, European and Commonwealth champion, believes Povall's selection on the scheme will see her deliver on her impressive potential. 'The concept of the scheme is fantastic because it's helping people out at a really crucial stage of their athletic career,' he said.
'You get the financial help which is crucial but there is also the practical side and hearing about the reality of what a lifetime in sport can be like.
'Being at the workshops and seeing the athletes was incredible. They were really exciting to meet because they are really passionate about what they do and you do just think that people like Georgina are the talented future, without doubt.'
n Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 344 emerging athletes all the way to London 2012 and beyond. Follow the future stars of TeamGB and ParalympicsGB at: www.lloydstsb.com/localheroes