Louvre Fund has announced that of one of Guernsey’s brightest young mountain bike stars, Hannah English, has been awarded a new, annual sports grant. Hannah was selected for British Cycling’s Olympic Talent Programme for 2014 and is a regular podium finisher in the National and Southern Regional MTB Championships.
Louvre’s commitment to sport in Guernsey will see them roll out a series of grants and sponsorship packages during 2014 and beyond. Louvre Group has eight top Guernsey sportspeople working as part of their team and sport is an important part of the company’s culture.
Last year Hannah won the Southern and South-West Mountain Bike Series and whilst she has only been riding mountain bikes for five years, in that time she has dominated the Channel Island inter-insulars and local races. She took silver in the Glasgow National Championships, which was a highlight of her 2013 season and places her at the pinnacle of her sport, for her age group, in Great Britain.
Louvre Fund is the first corporate organisation to recognise her talents and step in to offer support. The sports grant includes sponsorship and the option of paid work experience in the company’s St Peter Port office. ‘Hannah is an exciting talent that Louvre Fund is very proud to be associated with,’ states Kevin Gilligan, Managing Director of Louvre Fund. ‘Hannah shows determination, bravery and brilliant technical skill in her riding and these are attributes we value greatly.’
Hannah is currently placed second in the Southern Championships and secured two podium finishes and a fourth place in the Nationals in the Under-16, Youth Female age group. She also has a number of Olympic Talent Programme Training Camps to attend in 2014. As part of that training she has been designated a new coach and is required to submit a training diary and meet development targets. Hannah was one of only two girls in her age group to be selected for the Olympic Talent Programme; selection alone is an impressive achievement and she continues to demonstrate why she earned that place.
On island Hannah plans to ride in as many Guernsey Velo Club MTB, TT and Criterion races as possible, where she will debut her new Louvre kit, which Hannah helped to design.
‘The grant that Louvre Fund has given me enables me to attend events and pursue mountain biking, which I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do,’ says Hannah. ‘It’s great to have this opportunity.’
Like all good sportspeople, Hannah understands that success doesn’t come without training and she is no stranger to cold mornings and rainy day rides.
She is committed to her training and also to maintaining her academic success at school. ‘We’re very impressed with Hannah’s commitment and part of this grant scheme is a paid work experience placement, which she can choose to take up if her schedule allows,’ explains Kevin Gilligan.
‘Guernsey has many talented young sportspeople and Hannah is one of those with exceptional talent,’ says Gary Wallbridge, President of the Guernsey Velo Club. ‘’One of the key elements of developing Guernsey’s sporting talent is for young people to compete against their peers in the UK arena and sponsorship helps to meet the cost of travel. Without sponsorship you may just be the best in Guernsey, but with sponsorship who knows where the journey might end?’