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A group of 21 athletes have been offered membership to the British Athletics Futures Academy programme for 2018 which provides a programme of support for athletes and coaches who are progressing on the pathway to the World Class Programme (WCP).

Four of British Athletics’ European Junior championships gold medallists are included on the programme; Maya Bruney (coach: John Blackie), Toby Harries (Jon Bigg), Jake Heyward (James Thie) and Jemma Reekie (Andy Young).

Other medallists from the 2017 edition of the championships in Grosseto include Markhim Lonsdale (Keith Lonsdale) and Naomi Ogbeta (Tom Cullen) who compete in the 800m and triple jump respectively.

Included amongst the four para athletes who have been offered support for 2018 is James Hamilton (Mark Kirk), who impressed at this summer’s World Para Athletics Championships - the Northern Irish athlete placing sixth in both the T20 800m and 1500m finals. In addition, double medallist from the inaugural World Para Athletics Junior Championships, Simran Kaur (Nick Harris) continues her development on the programme.

The Futures Programme – supported by Nike - aims to confirm athlete’s potential and transition onto the World Class Programme (WCP) in 2018-19 and support those who have highlighted their potential to win medals at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As part of the bespoke package offered by British Athletics, the athletes will have access to the National Performance Institute at Loughborough and the ability to access performance support services, a series of workshops and experiences to develop skills required for senior international success and a programme of support aimed at ensuring the delivery of the Individual Athlete Plan (IAP) submitted by athletes and their coaches.

All athletes will have an assigned point of contact within the British Athletics performance team whose role is to support athletes and their personal coach with their 2018 IAP.

The benefits to the personal coach include assistance towards delivering the individual development plans and supporting the athlete(s) in training and competition, as well as receiving mentoring and support as appropriate.

Athletes were shortlisted per event group, using a number of different performance and ‘potential’ factors but not limited to; performance profile, lifestyle and training environment, and ability to ‘bridge the gap’ onto the WCP in the next two years.

Away from the British Athletics Futures Academy, there are further Performance Pathway Support Programmes which are provided to developing young athletes between the ages of 16-21. A number of athletes will be nominated for Talented Athlete Support Scheme (TASS) (English athletes only) or SportsAid via the ‘Backing the best’ scheme which they manage on behalf of Sport England. These lists will be announced in the coming months by the respective bodies.

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