Hampshire Talented Athletes head to Sarajevo 2019
A successful winter season is on the horizon, as Hampshire Talented Athletes are selected for the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOF)
Following an eventful summer, this season is set to be just as successful. Two athletes supported by the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme (HTAS) recently competed at Sarajevo 2019. The event was hosted in Bosnia & Herzegovina from the 9th-16th February 2019.
The Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme (HTAS) supports athletes to reach their goals. It provides financial assistance, sport science workshops, access to training facilities and fast-track physiotherapy. The scheme is funded by Hampshire County Council and managed by Energise Me.
Team GB was made up of 27 athletes aged 15-18, including HTAS athletes Ethan Smith and Sarah Woodward. Ethan Smith aged 15 from Eastleigh competed in Snowboarding and Sarah Woodward, aged 17 from Basingstoke competed in Alpine Skiing.
Ethan’s Mum, Nikki said:
Ethan was really excited about representing Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival. He really appreciates all that Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme does to help him. The physio at Solent University was invaluable when he broke his leg last year. The workshops have been fun and useful and the financial award helped pay for his season’s lift pass. So thank you HTAS!”
Approximately 1,500 athletes from 50 European countries took part at Sarajevo 2019. The competition provided athletes with their first multi-sport experience and played an important role in the development of young athletes.
Team GB competed across seven of the eight disciplines: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, short track speed skating and snowboarding.
Ethan competed in both the Slopestyle and Big Air competitions against 50 youngsters from all over Europe. He finished 17th in the Big Air competition and qualified for the semi-final in Slopestyle finishing 18th overall.
”Everything about this experience was totally awesome. It was a great opportunity to meet people from different sports and see how they train and compete. I feel this will help me now I am back in Austria”.
Sarah competed in the Slalom, Giant Slalom and Team Parallel event with 104 competitors in each of the girls races. Sarah finished 8th in the Slalom, 15th in the Giant Slalom and won her run in the team event. She received the best results out of the GB skiers.
“The European youth Olympic festival was an incredibly inspiring and motivating week, being selected presented such an amazing sense of achievement and it now pushes me more and more to see what else I can achieve in my sport.
I am extremely grateful for the continued support from HTAS, the sports centre membership is very beneficial and the free bus pass is very useful as I do not need to rely on my parents to take me to train. The grant I have received over the last few years has gone towards my equipment costs.”
Former HTAS Lizzy Yarnold, Team GB’s most successful ever Winter Olympian, took on the role of the Athlete Ambassador for the team’s pre-Games assembly.
Lizzy Yarnold, Team GB Athlete Ambassador said:
“There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in British winter sport, so I hope the athletes can grasp this incredible opportunity to further themselves as sportspeople and as individuals.”
Find out more on the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme here.