QTS Group to inspire next generation of sporting greatness with Youth Athlete Programme
QTS Group has today unveiled the next round of inductees into its Youth Athlete Programme, as it looks to inspire the next generation of sports stars.
The national rail contractor has announced five young athletes from across Scotland and England, who will be on the receiving end of funding to help them reach their sporting potential.
The recipients of the sponsorship are based across the UK, residing in Liverpool, Kilmarnock, and East Midlands respectively.
Aaron Sarwar has been training with Northwest Boxing Club for just over a year and has already represented his country and the club at an international level. He has won golds in the Scottish Championship, William Wallace Box Club, King of the Ring in Sweden and won many other awards in different competitions.
Jorja Naughton has been lifting for just over six years and competes in the women’s 49kg U17 class at national and international level. She is currently a 3x British gold medallist and holds Scottish records in the women’s 49kg class from U14 to U23s along with many other Scottish records in the 40kg to 55kg class. She has been awarded best female lifter in Scottish youth and in Manchester at the Barton youth open competition.
Ethan Cunningham started gymnastics at 10 years old and took on the discipline of tumbling to great success, becoming British Tumble Champion at age 14. Later he switched disciplines to DMT (double mini trampoline) and was selected for the Scotland squad for both disciplines in 2020. Ethan is currently the youngest member of the Senior Development GBR squad at just 17.
18-year-old Luis Davin currently plays for the Steven Gerrard Academy based in Liverpool at U19 Level, as well as the Vauxhall Motors FC Reserves Team, who play in West Cheshire Division One.
Alfie Bradshaw, 16, an amateur boxer from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, has been training for the past three years and currently holds the East Midlands Junior Vest title.
He has already competed in national competitions, reaching quarter-final stages, and will use this sponsorship to enter more fights in the coming year including the Midland Youth Gold Belt.
Launched in 2014, the programme provides annual support to young, emerging sporting stars who face financial challenges, with the aim being to enable them to fulfil their potential.
Since then, QTS has supported a 27 UK sports stars across many disciplines including swimming, kickboxing, and snowboarding, with many going on to compete at the pinnacle of their sports in both the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Applications for the latest round of athletes to join the programme opened in November, with those chosen for the programme informed earlier this year.
The process saw candidates sharing their sporting journey, outlining how the sponsorship money would help them to reach their potential.
QTS then reviewed applications based on a varied criteria including their sporting experience, current skill level, and upcoming plans, including competitions and training commitments.
As well as bringing in five new young athletes, QTS will continue to sponsor nine of its current athletes: Jed McMillan (tennis), Ben Stitt (kickboxing), Charlie Lane (snowboarding), Charlotte Payne (hammer and discus), Gillian McGaw (motorbike racing), Rory McKinna (sailing), Adie Lock (kickboxing) and Javier and Joaquin Bello (volleyball).
Alan McLeish, managing director of QTS Group, said: “The UK has a wealth of untapped talent, particularly in sport, but for many it’s sadly a case that financial difficulties can hinder what could be sporting greatness. That’s why it’s fantastic to launch another year of the Young Athletes Programme, helping to give support to future athletes. After running the programme for nine years, this is a cause close to our hearts and one we are proud to deliver as a company.
“At QTS, we have always taken pride in giving back to local communities. We hope that the programme will truly inspire young people from all walks of life to pursue their dreams and fully fulfil their talent.
“We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our new athletes.”