World Class Program

British Triathlete Jess Learmonth has been named in the UK Sport Lottery Funded World Class Squad for 2015. Jess is one of twenty two athletes selected for the World Class Squad, as part of a programme designed to nurture talent for long term success.

This achievement is a significant landmark in an astonishing personal journey. As a relative latecomer to the sport, having only been competing for three years, Jess has enjoyed a meteoric ascent to the highest level, in a short but prolific career. Jess’s success has been built on her personal dedication, and hard work. However, prior to her inclusion in the World Class Programme, Jess quickly found that in order to fulfil her potential, she required further support.  Committing herself to a gruelling training schedule, Jess had to work extremely hard to fit training around her full time employment. Furthermore, the requirements of competing amongst the elite meant that Jess’s self-sufficiency struggled to compensate for the equipment, travel, and accommodation costs which would have prevented her from even entering certain events. Regrettably, this situation is experienced by many of our promising youngsters, and more often than not, prevents them for realising their ambition.

However, for the last two years, Jess has been supported by The F&I Foundation, a body dedicated to helping young athletes and sportspeople with great potential, to realise their goals. Working closely with the Foundation, Jess has overcome financial hurdles, which has allowed her to enter European events.  A string of impressive performances, including 2nd at the British National Championships Elite, and 3rd at the ETU Madrid Championships, meant that Jess could not be overlooked, and has now been recognised by British Triathlon as a future star.

Since her inclusion on The World Class Athletes Programme, Jess is now in the same talent pool as our finest athletes. The Podium Squad constitutes a wealth of talent, including the Brownlee Brothers,Commonwealth Medal Winner Vicky Holland and World Champion Non Stanford, all expected to deliver medals for our nation at the forthcoming Rio Olympics.  Jess has been selected as a member of the Podium Potential Squad, designed to nurture the next wave of talent for long term success.

An ecstatic Jess commented: “The Podium Potential programme is full of extremely talented athletes, and I’m flattered to be included amongst them. I’m still relatively new to the sport, and whilst there are no guarantees of Olympic selection, this is just the encouragement I need to continue training and giving this everything.”

Jess is a shining example of the work of the F&I Foundation. With so many sportspeople missing opportunities due to financial restraints, The F&I Foundation aims to help the nation’s sporting development by giving our talented youngsters the support required to make significant steps. Jess’s inclusion in the World Class Programme is just reward for her personal endeavour, and a perfect outcome as a result of her partnership with the Foundation.

Andy Shuter, Founder of the F&I Foundation commented: “Considering this was our first project, we are extremely proud of Jess’s continued success, and this is the latest piece of good news which fills us all with enthusiasm and hope for the future. I am naturally delighted for Jess, and also all the other promising young athletes in the squad. It is our goal to ensure that as many young sportspeople as possible are exposed to these kind of opportunities by taking down any barriers which stand in the way of their talent and commitment. I suppose you could say – “job done!”

Posted on Thursday 5th February 2015

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