Cash boost for Olympic hopefuls

THE Great Britain 2012 Olympics might still seem a long way off, but young sporting hopefuls across the country are already in training. And in North Devon, would-be Olympians Lauren Priest and Alex Baker are working hard to give themselves the best oppor

THE Great Britain 2012 Olympics might still seem a long way off, but young sporting hopefuls across the country are already in training.And in North Devon, would-be Olympians Lauren Priest and Alex Baker are working hard to give themselves the best opportunity of being picked for the British squad when the selectors come knocking in three years' time.Lauren, 17, from Newton St Petrock, hopes to represent the country in the triple jump event, while Alex, 16, from Croyde, is hoping that, should surfing become accepted as an event at the games for the first time, he'll be riding the wave for the UK hopefuls.Lauren, who has already excelled at national competitions and was the English Schools' champion in 2007, is currently fitting in four training sessions a week while studying four A-levels at North Devon College.Meanwhile, Alex, who has been surfing since he was eight, has just returned home from surfing trips in Indonesia and Morocco.He won the 2007 under 16 boys' BPSA Pro Surf Tour and has placed second and third in the junior English and British National Surfing Championships.This week, Lauren and Alex's gruelling training schedules were given a massive boost by the Bideford Asda supermarket. Each has been presented with a cheque for �500 to help towards their training costs, part of the company's countrywide "Sporting Chance" initiative.Store spokesperson Peter Wilcox said: "Each store is sponsoring two young athletes and we'll be supporting them by giving them both �500 each every year through to 2012.


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