Championing tomorrow’s aspiring Olympians

Sydenham High has launched a unique new programme to encourage and support its elite sporting performers as they aspire to be the next generation of Olympians.

The SydElite Athlete Support Programme is designed to help talented young athletes attending the school, who compete at district, national or even international level, to better manage their sport/work/life balance and maximise their potential both academically and in their sport.

The programme will track and monitor the girls’ progress; provide mentor support and guidance; deliver dedicated workshop sessions and ensure school and sport demands can be appropriately managed.

The scheme was launched at the school this week by Claire Bennett, a Sydenham High alumna, GB fencing champion and recently-appointed Athlete Co-ordinator for the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust. She addressed the whole school and then ran an inaugural workshop for the founding eight members of the programme whose sporting disciplines include: athletics; cricket; track cycling; netball; trampoline; classical ballet and contemporary dance.

She told the girls: “Juggling academic studies and sporting commitments isn’t easy but then nothing that’s truly worthwhile in life ever is.  You do have to make sacrifices and deal with disappointment but you will ultimately experience far more than any of your peers. Trust your instincts, be sure to have a good support team around you and be relentless in your work ethic to reach your goals.”

The founding members of the programme are:-
Kira Chathli – cricket; Phoebe Proctor – ballet; Eleanor Jeffery – netball; Eleanor Holden – track cycling; Eleanor Smith  – contemporary dance; Alexandra Housley – netball; Isabella Hilditch – long jump and hurdles; Lily Paterson – trampoline