A record number of Ron Pickering Memorial Fund grants have been awarded to talented young British athletes
World Championships marathoner Josh Griffiths is among 231 athletes who will receive support from the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund (RPMF) in 2018, with a record total amount of almost £46,000 to be distributed.
Also among the recipients this year are a number of European U20 Championships medallists, including 200m champion Maya Bruney, 1500m winners Jemma Reekie and Jake Heyward, pole vault silver medallist Molly Caudery, triple jump bronze medallist Naomi Ogbeta and 1500m bronze medallist Harriet Knowles-Jones, who also claimed under-20 gold at the European Cross Country Championships last month.
Among the 13 para athletes to receive support is London 2017 T13 long jump fourth-placer, Zak Skinner.
Founded in memory of the former coach and BBC broadcaster Ron Pickering, the RPMF helps a number of the country’s top athletes make the transition from junior to senior level by providing financial support for equipment, specialist training and travel, as well as a vital confidence boost.
Past recipients of the annual grants include Olympic medallists Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu, Greg Rutherford, Robbie Grabarz and Dina Asher-Smith.
Of the athletes receiving support in 2018, 52% are aged 17 or under, while 25% are aged 18-20 years and 23% are aged 21-24.
Among them, 37% are sprinters or hurdlers, 26% are endurance athletes, 17% are throwers, 14% are jumpers and 6% are from combined events.
“A record number of 640 applications were received at the end of 2017, which made for an incredibly difficult selection process, as not only were the overall numbers high, the quality of the applications and the demonstration of need was the highest the RPMF had ever received,” said the Fund.
The full list of 2018 grant recipients can be found at rpmf.org.uk