5,000 young people have been able to follow their sporting dreams and fulfil their academic potential thanks to Sport England TASS. The scheme, which is managed by the charity SportsAid, works with more than 25 sports and is recognised as a leader in its field by sporting bodies across the world.
A total of almost 5,000 athletes, including Olympic champion Becky Adlington and Paralympic champion Natasha Baker, have been supported by the scheme. It helps them balance higher or further education with the commitments and pressures of high-performance sport. It gives them access to gyms, training centres, physiotherapy, equipment, coaching and training camps, and even helps to develop the skills of the professionals around them.
The scheme has changed the life of 23-year-old Eleni Papadopoulos who was born with mild cerebral palsy causing left-sided hemplegia. Eleni has been supported by TASS for four years and competes in disability swimming. So far she has eight British, four European and one world record in the S10 category.
On top of training for 36 hours a week, Eleni is studying for her second law degree at the University of Manchester and hopes to become a solicitor. In 2014, she had to have surgery after suffering from impingement of her right shoulder. “Thanks to the healthcare provided by TASS I had the surgery within three days of being told that I needed it,” she said. “As an athlete, the sooner I had the procedure done, the sooner I could recover and start training again.”
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