Apogee Scholarships launched for GB Rowing Team’s Start Programme
APOGEE CORPRORATION HOPES TO TAKE SCHOLARS TO NEW HEIGHTS
Rebecca Chin Frazier Christie Zak Lee-Green Stella D’Arch Smith
Four members of the GB Rowing Team’s ‘Start’ Programme have been awarded Scholarships from Apogee Corporation, one of Europe’s fasting growing suppliers of digital office solutions and managed print services.
Rebecca Chin, Frazier Christie, Stella D’Arch Smith and Zak Lee-Green were selected from over 100 rowers to receive Apogee Scholarships. These talented young rowers will received help with their training, travelling and equipment expenses as they strive to gain selection for the GB Rowing Team senior squad.
‘Start’ is the programme which, since 2002, has been responsible for identifying and nurturing rowers like Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, Mohamed Sbihi and Dan Ritchie, Anna Watkins and Kat Copeland. All went on to win Olympic or World medals in 2011 and 2012. ‘Start’ is world-renowned for its success rate.
Apogee Corporation is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of document management and digital office solutions and its founders and CEOs, Barry Ferdinand and Jason Collins, have a consistent track record of supporting community projects and actively encouraging individual young people who aspire to excellence in their chosen fields.
Barry Ferdinand said, “We are delighted to be supporting these four rowers who have a hard journey ahead of them. We understand what it has taken for them to get this far and, having met them, we are sure they will give their all in their bid to succeed in the extremely tough environment of rowing in the UK”.
“With so many established World and Olympic medallists in the GB squad, even getting a place will be tough. We know that the support we are giving could make the difference”, said Jason Collins.
Steve Gunn, National Manager for the GB Rowing Team Start Programme, said: “We are grateful to Apogee Corporation for supporting us in this way. Rowers at this level make huge personal sacrifices to follow their dreams. Many have to relocate and struggle to make ends meet as they juggle the demands of training around having to support themselves”.
Apogee is taking the long view and has teamed up with the GB Rowing Team to provide these scholarships with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro very much in mind.
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Chin and D’Arch Smith are both based at the Agecroft RC Start Centre in Manchester and are coached by Hamish Burrell. Each have fought through from the 700 or so hopefuls tested in the year that they joined. So they are already exceptional prospects, Chin having raced at the World U23 Championships last year.
“Knowing that I have people supporting and backing me drives my thirst for success”, said D’Arch Smith who also finds the time to do some voluntary coaching at her club.
“I want to help the GB Rowing Team win more medals and titles and will do everything I can to make this a reality”, said Chin.
Christie, whose father is currently serving with the British Army in Kenya and who is coached at the University of Bath-based Start Centre by Dan Harris, has been supporting himself since leaving sixth form. He says he will spend a proportion of his scholarship on a scooter to get to and from training and on food to fuel his training.
“I believe my diet is somewhere I can really look to improve my performance”, said Christie who hopes that marginal gains in areas like food and ease of transport will help him make his break-through.
Lee-Green, from Cardiff, but coached by Burrell as part of the Agecroft-based set-up, has set himself an almost impossible dream. He is studying dentistry alongside his Start training. Both are gruelling commitments. Moreover, Lee-Green is a lightweight rower and only six seats are available to men in this category at the Olympic Games.
“I have a passion for my sport and a hunger to succeed at the highest level”, said Lee-Green who has already raced for GB at U23 level and who rides a bike 65 miles a week to and from training.
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