Sheffield City Trust Launch Talented Athlete Programme for Sheffield’s Medal Contenders

A group of Sheffield’s top athletes have been awarded a place on Sheffield City Trust’s new Talented Athlete Programme (TAP) which aims to support elite athletes that compete at international level and have realistic medal capabilities.

Nineteen athletes have been selected for the programme across a range of sports and include GB diver Ross Haslam, NHL/AHL ice hockey player Liam Kirk, Barry Grayson Sheffield Steelkings para ice hockey player, GB Freestyle Kayaker Emma Witherford and Team GB Goalball player Caleb Nanevie.

David Bly, Sports Programme and Engagement Manager at Sheffield City Trust said: “The aim of the TAP is to help alleviate some of the pressures that come within the world class environment that these athletes are working in.

“We’re thrilled to have such talented athletes within the city and this elite group will now work with us to represent the trust and help us with initiatives to engage our younger generation and encourage more participation in sports.”

To qualify for the programme athletes must train in Sheffield City Trust venues and be on an elite pathway within their sport with medal capabilities. The successful group are granted free use of Sheffield City Trust’s sporting facilities across all their venues enabling them to train as often as possible without having to worry about the costs.

GB Diver, Ross Haslam from Sheffield said: "I'm really excited to be part of the TAP, this opportunity supports everyone involved to be able to compete at the highest level in their sports, whilst living and training in Sheffield.

“I think this is great for the city, and an inspiring boost to the next generation of sporting hopefuls too!"

As the health and wellbeing charity Sheffield City Trust works to support the residents of Sheffield to improve their health and wellbeing and engage the under-represented communities, helping provide access to sporting facilities. The TAP ambassadors are fantastic role models for the community and will work with the trust to continue this legacy.

Barry ‘Baz’ Grayson, Steelkings Para Ice Hockey Player said: “It's great to have been selected to be a part of TAP. Being involved will help me stay strong so I can always perform at my best. It doesn't matter how young or how old you are if you can still give it your all and TAP will help me to keep pushing on doing what I love!

“I hope I can also inspire the next para ice hockey superstar to chase their dreams of playing for club and country. I'm very grateful for being chosen.”

David Bly added: “This talented bunch of athletes are an inspiration to other young hopefuls in Sheffield and they have experienced a difficult couple of years with training being halted and competitions ceased during the pandemic.

“It is hoped the TAP programme will be a boost to this generation of emerging talent in the city and help the athletes deliver their best possible performances and achieve their dreams.”