As the Class of 2013 Rising Stars graduate from the Jaguar Academy of Sport, we take a look back on what has been a remarkable year for the Academy. We could not be more proud of our Rising Stars; 40% have moved on to additional funding or professional contracts, making them the most successful class of Rising Stars in the history of the Academy. It has been a privilege to aid them on their journey and we now look forward to seeing the success they will continue to achieve.
There were six Talent Days in 2013 as part of the Mentoring and Education Programme which provides the Rising Stars with the non-financial support required to be successful at the highest level. These events bring together the insight and experience of our Patrons and Ambassadors to help the Rising Stars achieve their full potential, focusing on various topics to support performance.
Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Kelly Holmes and Mark Foster presented the Class of 2013 with their Jaguar Academy of Sport Bursary Award in May 2013 in London. The Academy’s 50 new Rising Stars were then inducted into the Mentoring and Education Programme with a workshop focused on media training.
To celebrate Katherine Grainger’s appointment as an Ambassador, the first Talent Day of the year was held at London 2012 venue Dorney Lake. The Rising Stars took part in a selection of workshops focusing on world-class performance in sport with Ambassadors Katherine Grainger, Colin Jackson and David Roberts.
Academy Ambassador Rio Ferdinand shared his top tips for sporting success at the Ricoh Arena in Jaguar’s hometown of Coventry for the second Talent Day. Rio was joined by Olympic gold medallists Jade Jones, Denise Lewis and Dame Kelly Holmes to pass on their advice on what it takes to succeed at top-level competition.
Ambassadors Dai Greene and Adam Gemili joined the Rising Stars at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield for the third Talent Day. They joined Jessica Ennis-Hill’s physiotherapist Alison Rose and sports massage therapist Lesley Bryant to lead the Rising Stars through a series of workshops on injury prevention and coping with injury.
Ambassador Tim Henman joined the Rising Stars at Manchester Sport City for the fourth Talent Day of the year. Tim led an exclusive Tennis Masterclass for the Rising Stars and they also learned about preparation for performance including a session in the BMX centre.
Glaxo Smith Kline’s state of the art Human Performance Lab proved to be the perfect setting for the final Talent Day of the year’s programme. Joined by a stellar selection of Academy Patrons and Ambassadors, the Rising Stars were the first large group to have access to this elite facility as they learned the impact of science in sport.
The tireless work of our Patrons and Ambassadors to help nurture and inspire excellence in our Rising Stars also extends to one-to-one Mentoring for the Academy Rising Stars. These sport specific Masterclasses help inspire our Rising Stars to go on to become future champions.
Rising Star Megan McDonald joined Ambassador Mark Cavendish on the Isle of Man and received a cycling sprint Masterclass from the fastest man on two wheels.
Ambassador Tim Henman dedicated time to mentoring twelve-year-old wheelchair tennis star Esperanza Merry. One of the stand out athletes of the Class of 2013, Esperanza received advice and coaching from the former British number one as part of her preparation for the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.
The fourth Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards took place at the Royal Opera House in London and saw past, present and future athletes all collect awards. The ceremony honoured five of the 50 Academy Rising Stars with a Jaguar Academy of Sport Special Recognition Award. The Academy also recognised the year’s greatest British sporting achievements by giving awards for the Jump Off the Sofa Moment, the Most Inspirational Sporting Performance of the Year and the Patron’s Award for Sporting Legacy.
The fourth Jaguar Academy of Sport Annual Awards celebrated achievements from our 2013 Rising Stars and British sporting successes from the year.
Following a year of unprecedented success, Jess was awarded the coveted Star of the Future Award by Tour de France winner Chris Froome. Jess’s season culminated in her claiming the nation’s first ever openweight women’s singles championship gold at the Junior World Rowing Championships.
Taekwondo star Asia Bailey has every chance of emulating former Rising Star and Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones at Rio 2016. Asia medalled in both junior and senior international competitions, won bronze at the Junior World Championships and was promoted to the senior World Class Programme.
Since taking up wheelchair tennis a year ago, Esperanza is ranked as one of the sport’s top prospects. She was part of Team GB’s gold medal winning team at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup and won her first ITF titles in 2013. Aged just twelve, Esperanza reached number eight in the world junior ranking.
Scott dominated national and international events throughout 2013. Aged just 15, Scott won a gold medal and set a new F34 shot put world record at the IPC World Athletic Championships with a throw of 13.38. Scott is already considered one of Team GB’s most promising prospects for Paralympic gold at Rio.
Tyesha is one of Great Britain’s strongest junior gymnastic competitors with gold medal performances at domestic and international events. She won the All-Around title at the Australian Youth Olympic festival and is the British junior title holder. She also became the first Brit to perform the ‘double-double’ in international competition.
The Most Inspirational Sporting Performance of the Year was awarded to Andy Murray who won his first Wimbledon title and ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s singles champion. Andy also won the Jump Off the Sofa Moment, chosen by the audience on the night, but he was unable to attend the ceremony so he sent through this acceptance speech.
Sir Keith Mills presented the 2013 Patron’s Award for Sporting Legacy to Olympic legend and Academy Patron Sir Steve Redgrave. In a truly remarkable career, Sir Steve won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games and an incredible nine World Rowing Championship gold medals.