Three years on from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, East Village has partnered with SportsAid to support 10 young British athletes who are in training for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
Suitably named the E20 Champions, these 10 talented youngsters from across London and the South East, who are all aged between 14 and 19 years, are at the top of their game in a variety of sports from athletics and swimming to fencing and volleyball. At just 14 years old, the youngest, James Smith, is one of Britain’s top young table tennis players, whilst the oldest are 19-year-olds Ayesha Fihosy and Jai Birch, who are both junior fencing champions.
Ayesha said: “Fencing is a very financially demanding sport. To qualify for European and world championships I need to travel to the competitions all over Europe, so getting this help is amazing. It gives me the chance to try and reach my goals and achieve my full potential.”
Neil Young, Chief Executive Officer at Get Living London said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with SportsAid to support the E20 Champions. As the former Athletes’ Village, hosting more than 17,000 athletes during the summer of 2012, East Village’s Olympic and Paralympic heritage is an ongoing source of pride for the more than 5,000 people living here. We can’t think of a better way to acknowledge this heritage than by supporting our young aspiring Olympians and Paralympians in the early stages of their sporting careers.”
Tim Lawler, Chief Executive of SportsAid said: “This is a fantastic example of the living legacy of London 2012. Young athletes still tell us how much the Games inspired them so we are delighted to be working with East Village to help them achieve their ambitions. As E20 Champions they will get the financial support that can make a huge difference at this stage of their lives and we are excited to see how they progress. The power of backing people is that the impact is seen for years to come.”
The new partnership will see the E20 Champions become ambassadors for East Village where they will be invited to represent the area, taking part in events to encourage young people to get involved with sports. On Wednesday 1 October they visited the local school, Chobham Academy, which was recently rated Outstanding in its first Ofsted inspection.