March 8 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 27, 2012
Barking sprinter Jordan Kirby-Polidore has been hand-picked as a future British Olympian after being chosen to be part of the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative.
The 19-year-old will receive a cash injection of £1,000 towards training and competing and is one of only 264 up-and-coming athletes selected from across England and Wales.
Kirby-Polidore, a pupil at Barking & Dagenham College, attended the launch of the scheme at Wembley Stadium, where he rubbed shoulders with Olympic silver medal-winning diver Leon Taylor.
And Kirby-Polidore, who has his sights set on a 200 metre berth at the World Junior Championships this summer, admits his recent recognition will be just the confidence boost he needs ahead of a hectic 2012 season.
“It is pretty exciting. I have never had anything like this before and it was great meeting all the other athletes from all over the country,” he said.
“The first thing I am going to do with the money is get some new spikes because they get worn down so quickly – I’ve only had my current pair for a month.
“I knew other people on the scheme who said how good it was, but I never thought I would get considered, so it is really nice to get the backing.
“My coach is telling me I should try and go for the Olympics now, but I have to be realistic and this will all be good experience for 2016 when I should be up there and challenging.”
In partnership with SportsAid, the Lloyds TSB initiative is designed to ensure more talent reaches the top of their sport.
In total 346 talented athletes are part of the programme with 82 Bank of Scotland Local Heroes north of the border also receiving funding towards training and competing.
Olympic silver medallist Taylor knows a thing or two about spotting talent having helped mentor Tom Daley since he was 10 and believes Kirby and co are the future.
“It’s fantastic for these young athletes to get the funding and support because they have got a massive amount of talent,” said Taylor, who won Olympic 10m platform silver in Athens in 2004.
“So it’s great for them to get some recognition and support and hopefully they can go on from here and have great careers.”
■ Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 346 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond. Since 2008, the programme has supported 1,000 athletes. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes