Our #madeinsandwell stars this week are the borough’s gifted and talented young athletes

Jaydon-2018Our #madeinsandwell Monday stars this week are Sandwell’s young athletes, with dreams of competing in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

One Sandwell star is Jaydon Paddock from Wednesbury. Jaydon competes in the sport of tumbling – a discipline of gymnastics – and recently became world champion in the tumbling World Age Group Championships in Russia. He has a huge future ahead of him as he now moves into senior competition.

Ruman Rai is an up-and-coming Karate star who trains four nights per week at her club Moose Martial Arts Academy in West Bromwich, as well as monthly training sessions with the England Karate Federation. Ruman has already been selected to represent England at the European Championships in Sardinia, as well as the World Championships in Ireland.

Karate has been selected as a sport in the 2020 Olympics. Ruman is aiming to be selected for this and become an Olympian.

Sandwell has produced many elite athletes like Jaydon and Ruman who regularly compete against the best competitors in the world. However, some young athletes and their families find that the costs involved with competing at the highest level can be difficult to manage.

Costs include kit, training, competition fees and travel. In response to this issue Sandwell Council set up the ‘Gifted and Talented’ programme, which offers small financial grants to young up-and-coming athletes living in Sandwell.

The aim of the programme is to help these athletes achieve their full potential and some of the grants awarded have already made a difference to the lives of the young people and their families.

Many of the athletes are currently competing at national, European and world level. Many are winning medals and while they are ambassadors for their sports, they also represent the borough of Sandwell on their travels.

Sandwell Council is keen to help these athletes even further and is looking for local businesses to work with to support the Gifted and Talented programme. Members of the programme team will be at the Meet the Buyer event on Tuesday 30 April at Portway Leisure Centre, to discuss ways in which you could get involved.

The new Sandwell Aquatics Centre, a world-class facility which will include a 50m Olympic-sized competition swimming pool, will give Sandwell’s young athletes yet another incentive to train harder to compete in international and national swimming and diving events.

For more information about the programme and how to sponsor one of Sandwell’s talented young athletes visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/giftedandtalented or contact programme manager Rob Marlow on 0121 569 4741 or robert_marlow@sandwell.gov.uk. Rob would welcome the opportunity to discuss how local companies can get involved.

#madeinsandwell Monday is a celebration of the talent and diversity within our borough. If you’re interested in being considered for a #madeinsandwell Monday profile and having information about your organisation shared on Think Sandwell and through Twitter, read this.


[Image of Jaydon Paddock, provided by: www.woodgreenacademy.co.uk]