Ffion, Taylor and Ellie
Three young weightlifters from Rhondda Cynon Taf who are part of the Council’s Future Champions programme will represent Wales in an international competition to be held in Austria this month
.Ellie Pryor, aged 12, Taylor Addicott, aged 12, and Ffion Owen aged 11 will compete in the XIII International Junior Battle to be held from June 20-21
The girls, who are all pupils at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Aberdare, train at Breeze’s Gym in Aberdare. Ellie became interested in weightlifting as her mum was a member at the gym. Ellie then brought some of her friends along.
The dedicated trio, who currently all hold Welsh age-group records, train between three to five times times a week with their trainer, gym owner and International weightlifter Michaela Breeze MBE.
“It is the girls’ first international competition and they are very excited about attending. They have a countdown in the gym of the number of days to go!” said Michaela.
“I am looking forward to seeing how they each progress. I'm very impressed with their level of commitment and attitude towards training thus far.
“They all have a great future ahead of them if they stick with it.”
Ellie, Taylor and Ffion are all being supported through a new initiative being run by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Sport RCT team.
The Future Champions project was launched in March this year in response to concerns that talented young sports people were not being given sufficient opportunities and support to reach their potential in sport.
A total of 70 athletes from the county borough, representing 13 sports, were inducted onto the programme and have started educational workshops.
The Future Champions project aims to provide a comprehensive athlete support programme that is accessible to every talented athlete selected to join the project.
In order to supply this level of service, partnerships with local facilities, training providers, national governing bodies, Sport Wales and investors are of paramount importance.
Eight educational workshops are being delivered as part of the project.
Athletes who have joined the project represent 13 of the 17 Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 sports: Athletics, Badminton, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Shooting, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis and Weightlifting.
Cllr Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure & Sport said: “I am delighted to hear that Ellie, Ffion and Taylor will be representing their country and wish them the very best of luck in their competition in Austria.
“The Future Champions programme is all about providing support and education to some of the county borough’s most talented sporting prospects and it is fantastic to see some of our athletes taking part in the programme getting national recognition.”
The programme is providing athlete and parent workshops and clinics, peer support networks and access to role models and financial aid. It is a fully-inclusive project engaging with talented disabled and non-disabled athletes.