Eastwood freestyle skier Bradley Fry has been given a helping hand in his mission to reach the very top of his sport.
The Hall Park Academy pupil’s climb to realise his ambition of competing at the Olympics has been boosted by a nationwide funding initiative.
Sport England’s Backing The Best programme aims to support talented young athletes - like Fry - who would face difficulties progressing without financial help.
Seventy athletes were supported during the programme’s first term in 2016, producing world, European and national age-group level champions.
The 12-year-old had been relying on his parents to help with training and travel costs but with an annual £5,000 award and the benefit of extra support from coaches and physios Fry is armed to progress.
He said: “Funding is really important for me, I wouldn’t be able to carry on without SportsAid, and we can use it to pay for my lift pass which enables me to ski more.
“Being in the Olympics would mean the world to me, I’d love to be there. If I keep on going then I could make the 2022 Olympic Games.
“My sporting hero is James Woods, he shows a lot of style when he is skiing and he really inspires me. I’ve met him before and he told me to be cool and to carry on doing skiing as much as possible.
“It would mean a lot to me because I love to ski. It’s going to be really fun to watch PyeongChang and to inspire me to watch more.”
Backing The Best will use £5.5 million of National Lottery funding over four years to extend SportsAid’s reach into new areas of the country and offer more support to those who face the biggest financial challenges.
All the athletes are nominated to SportsAid by their sport’s governing bodies, with the charity then ensuring funding goes to those who are most in need.
Fry has already benefited from being part of the programme, having attended a recent workshop with fellow athletes where he also got to meet with two-time Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington.
Backing The Best is helping young talented athletes facing the greatest financial pressure to pursue their sporting ambitions.
The programme, managed by SportsAid for Sport England, is supported by National Lottery funding. Please visit www.sportengland.org/our-work/talent/backing-the-best/ for more information.