Downham Market Olympic rowing prospect Hughes receives �1k Lloyds TSB Local Heroes boost
Downham Market rower Adam Hughes has been hand-picked as a future British Olympian after being chosen to be part of the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative.
The 18-year-old will receive �1,000 towards training and competing and is one of only 264 youngsters selected from across England and Wales.
Hughes, a student at the College of West Anglia, attended the launch of the scheme at Wembley Stadium. He rubbed shoulders with Leon Taylor, who won a diving silver medal in the men's synchronised 10m platform with partner Peter Waterfield at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
And Hughes – an Isle of Ely Rowing Club member – admits his recent recognition will be just the confidence boost he needs ahead of a hectic 2012 season.
'It's massive, it will help so much with everything I need, like going to competitions and petrol costs,' said Hughes – who also was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Olympic Park in East London.
'Without the help it would be hard to get anywhere and I do quite a lot of competitions so this will definitely help my progression.
'I travel all over the place, I've been to London and Nottingham recently, but it's all gearing towards the Junior World Championships in August.
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'I can knuckle down now and just concentrate on achieving the results to get to Bulgaria and I can't wait.'
In partnership with SportsAid, the Lloyds TSB initiative is designed to ensure more talent reaches the top of their sport.
In total, 346 talented athletes are part of the programme with 82 Bank of Scotland Local Heroes north of the border also receiving funding towards training and competing.
Taylor knows a thing or two about spotting talent having helped mentor London 2012 gold medal hopeful Tom Daley since he was 10, and believes the West Norfolk teenage rowing talent is one for the future.
'It's fantastic for these young athletes to get the funding and support because they have got a massive amount of talent,' said Taylor.
'So it's great for them to get some recognition and support and hopefully they can go on from here to have great careers.'
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 346 of Britain's most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond. Since 2008, the programme has supported 1,000 athletes. Follow future stars at facebook.com/lloydstsblocalheroes