Development awards celebrate Women’s Sport Week

Winners of sport development funding were celebrated at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 2 June as part of Women’s Sport Week.

Nine female athletes who live, train or study in Camden have been awarded grants through the GLL Sport Foundation, Camden Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Service and SportsAid to help them succeed in their fields.

With past recipients of the grant including Olympic boxing medal winner Nicola Adams, they are following in famous footsteps.

At an awards ceremony held at the Town Hall the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Larraine Revah, and Councillor Samata Khatoon, Equalities Champion for Camden Council, presented certificates to the winners of the sport funding. They included:

  • Harriet Dart (18), a tennis player who lives in Fortune Green and is hoping to qualify for Wimbledon this year, having previously reached the second rounds of the Wimbledon junior tournament in both singles and doubles.
  • Kitan Eleyae (23), a long jumper who recently graduated from Birkbeck, University of London and came fourth at both the British Indoor Championships and British Universities Championships this year. She is aiming to compete for Team GB in Rio 2016.
  • Leah O’Connell (12), a para-swimmer from Fortune Green who aims to compete in the Paralympics in the future.
  • Lumeng Yang (14), a fencer who competes nationally for Camden Fencing Club.
  • Jessica Zeynel (16), a tennis player from Regent’s Park who has aspirations to get a scholarship in America in the future to study and develop her game.

Women’s Sport Week is led by Women in Sport and aims to raise the profile of female athletes and encourage more women and girls to get involved in sport and physical activity.

Councillor Samata Khatoon, Equalities Champion for Camden Council, said:

“The achievements of the young women receiving these awards show that Camden boasts many talented female athletes. As Equalities Champion, I am passionate about breaking down the perceived barriers to participation in sports for women that exist on a national level, including issues around body image and lack of awareness of the range of available activities."

“We are working hard to increase participation, from schools engagement to women’s only sessions in leisure centres, and we will continue to look for new ways to support and encourage more women and girls to get into sport and physical activity.”

Harriet Dart, an award winner, and tennis player, said:

“I would encourage any young girl to play tennis because it’s really fun, and enjoyable, and you can play it with your friends. Winning is really fun too. Maria Sharapova inspires me because she’s a great athlete and I’ve looked up to her since I was really little.”

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