Commonwealth call up for SportsAid stars

While most of our track and field athletes are taking a breather before winter training, two of our stars will be having a very different winter. Both Samuel Walker (Retford) and Tom Jarvis (Skegness) will be heading off to India for the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in December. Sam, who won silver at last year's Games, currently trains and competes in Germany in the Bundesliga and following his performance in Korea earlier in the year, is flying up the rankings. 15 year old Tom gained second place at the Boys Masters contest representing England.

Also medalling this summer was swimmer Hayley Milne (supported by Grantham branch) who walked away with four gold medals at the CPISRA World Games in Nottingham. The 16 year old trains almost ten hours a week and won four of the five events she entered including 200m individual medley, 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

Another success in the water was Jordan Houlden (supported by Firth Park branch) who we supported in 2013 and 14 – The 16 year old made his senior international debut last year and placed fourth at the European Games at Baku this summer. With less than 300 days until Rio, Jordan is now training hard and hoping for a Team GB selection.

Paratriathlete Mark Conway (supported by North Hykeham branch) is also counting the days to the Olympics as his sport has been added to the roster for 2016. The 35 year old placed fifth at the Iseo Elite ITU Paratriathlon in Italy earlier in the summer and also helped out the Louth branch with the Disability Sports event.

Triathlete James Teagle (supported by Shepshed branch) has been making the transition from Junior competitions this year winning the Brownlee Tri at Ripon last month. James has also been making a name for himself on the international circuit placing 16th at Tiszaujaros at the ETU European Cup whilst team mate Olivia Mathias won gold! Fellow GB team mate Caitlin Roper walked away with the British Triathlon Youth Series Title and a silver in the U23 European Youth Championship relays.

Parasprinter Julie Rogers (supported by our Central Sales & Service team) missed out on a senior debut at Doha due to injury earlier in the season although placed fifth at the IWAS World Junior Games in Holland in the 100m T42 classification. Ranked top in the UK at senior level, the 16 year old is hopeful that her winter training will see her at the forefront of selectors’ eyes ahead of Rio.

Julie was joined by Pani Mamuneas who won gold in the F41 shot put and F41 javelin. The 18 year old also placed second nationally at senior level for shot put putting Pani in a prime position for Olympic selection. Also on the track this summer was Zac Shaw (supported by Cleethorpes branch) who has flown through the rankings this year topping the UK T12 and T13 classification tables in 100, 150m and 200m and potentially, could make the Team GB Olympic squad for 2016.

In Chesterfield, 17 year old sprinter and hurdler Alicia Barrett is also flying up the rankings with a top 50 senior GB ranking for 100 meter and 12th for 100m hurdles although is one of the top ranked females in her age group whilst twin sister Ella has also seen some consistent national performances.

On the water rower Olly Dix (supported by Wigston branch) was selected for Team GB at the prestigious Coupe de la Jeunesse competition winning his heat in the single scull 2000m and gaining a personal best from the semi-final whilst Anna Thornton (supported by Wollaton and Beeston branches) gained silver in the quads at Rio’s World Junior Championships.

Racewalker Emma Achurch (supported by our Finance and Treasury teams) is steadily moving up the rankings and currently training with Rio hopeful Tom Bosworth. The 18 year old has been focussing on moving up to the longer ‘Olympic’ distances in preparation for Queensland 2018, narrowly missing out on a top twenty place at the European Junior Championships this summer in the 10,000m.

Our martial artists have also fared well with taekwondo player Cameron Booth (supported by Arnold branch) picking up the Junior National Title (-51kg category). The 15 year old is looking forward to Latvia later this year after his Junior GB selection. 18 year old Jodie Caller (supported by Duston branch) placed fifth at the Junior European Cup in Poland (-57kg) and so far, maintaining her #1 GB Junior Ranking whilst team mate Isaac Gagin (supported by Enderby branch) picked up bronze medals at Junior and Senior level at the Scottish International Open (-61kg).

Meanwhile, our archery legends have been breaking records this year. Rob Gray (supported by Worksop branch), currently ranked in the top ten for GB broke the University’s record whilst 16 year old Lizzie Warner (supported by Groby and Melton Mowbray branches) broke the 60m cadets.

On the courts, Freya Christie (supported by Nottingham Parliament Street and our Marketing team) made history by becoming part of only the second doubles team ever to reach the semis at Wimbledon after being narrowly beaten by top seed just a few weeks before at Roehampton in the Nike Junior International quarter-finals girls singles. Whilst James Shaw (supported by Ruddington and Eastwood branches) has had a fantastic season given a few tumbles from his chair increasing his ranking to #4 in the country and regularly competing with players like David Phillips as part of the Team GB line up. The 19 year old is fast making a name for himself in the quads category and is remaining hopeful for a shot at Rio.

Finally, Team GB Goalball player Dave Butler (supported by our IT team) finished the 2014/15 season as the top British goal scorer cementing his spot on the GB side. #teamsportsaid #timetoshine

Lizzie and Rob at the Nottingham Building Society Archery GB Finals

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