Our Athletes

  • Mari Akhurst

    Mari Akhurst  Para Dressage

    Amersham’s Mari (now 25), a para dressage rider, is the first ever recipient to receive two SportsAid grants from the Lunch Club. With more competitions under her belt, Mari is getting closer to her aim of competing in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

  • Daisy Kennedy

    Daisy Kennedy  Golf

    Daisy golfing achievements, which include three U16 international matches for England, are all the more remarkable, considering she suffered three strokes less than a year ago, as a result of her colitis. The strokes caused Daisy to lose all movement down the left-hand side of her body.

  • Joe Murphy

    Joe Murphy  Rowing

    Joe lives and studies in Henley on Thames and trains at the Leander Club in the town. Joe has already represented Great Britain at the Coupe De La Jeunesse, winning bronze in the double scull in 2018. His goal is to represent team GB and win gold at the Henley Royal Regatta.

  • Ilse Owen

    Ilse Owen  Para Equestrian Dressage

    Great Missenden’s Ilse, has Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, which means she cannot feel or control the right side of her body. This can cause tension especially in cold weather conditions. Ilse trains four times a week with her horse Aslan and has ambitions to be part of the Equestrian Team GBR at the Paralympics.

  • Izzy Tucker

    Izzy Tucker (middle in picture)  Volleyball

    Naphill’s Isabelle Tucker is 14 years old and an u18 England National Beach volleyball champion. Unusually for an volleyball player competing at an international level, she plays both indoor 6-a-side and beach volleyball. This summer Isabelle will prepare for England selection in multiple international beach volleyball competitions.

    • Ceara Barber

      Ceara Barber (left in picture)  Swimming

      Ceara is part of Wycombe District Swimming Club and trains for up to 21 hours in the pool and commits to four hours of land work every week. This includes four weekday morning sessions which start at 5.20am. Her commitment and perseverance are paying off after she was chosen to represent Team GB at the 2017 European Youth Olympics in Hungary.

    • Thalia Kirby

      Thalia Kirby (right in picture)  Golf

      Thalia is from Marlow and she has an intensive training programme involving strength, conditioning and range practice at Stoke Park six days a week. The award comes after being selected for the England national girls’ golf squad for two years running. She was the youngest Buckinghamshire Ladies County Champion at the age of 14 and retained her title the year after too.

      • Louise Sugden

        Louise Sugden  Para Powerlifter

        Former Great Britain Wheelchair Basketballer from High Wycombe, Louise switched to Powerlifting and recently returned from the Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast with a silver medal. She is coached by Tom Whittaker at Loughborough.

      • Mari Durward-Akhurst

        Mari Durward-Akhurst  Para Dressage

        Mari’s training seems to be paying off, as she is already a Grade 1 Gold National Champion after competing with her horse Sky O’Hara, in September 2017. Mari has cerebral palsy with increased ataxia which affects all four limbs. As a result of this, her coordination, balance and muscle tone are all affected.

        • Georgia Carmichael

          Georgia Carmichael  Canoeing

          Starting out in the sport at just 10 years old and spending a lot of family time on the river – Georgia has already been selected for British Canoeing English National Talent Squad (ENTS) meaning that she is earmarked to compete on the world stage and hopefully someday at the Olympics.

        • Ben Simon

          Ben Simon  Rowing

          Marlow Rowing Club’s Ben Simon, 17 from Princes Risborough will use his donation towards upgrading his equipment and travelling to the many international rowing competitions he competes in every year. Ben was unable to attend the lunch (or get this award from Adrian Moorhouse MBE) as he was in the US competing in the Head of the Charles Regatta.

        • Max Tulloch

          Max Tulloch  Swimming

          Max specialises in 100m and 200m freestyle and butterfly, competes around the country and he is already part of an elite squad training to represent England. He recently took part an international para-swimming competition in Glasgow, where he competed with members of this year’s Rio 2016 Paralympics squad.

        • Razia Quashie

          Razia Quashie  Netball

          Training five days a week, Razia was selected for the England U-19s squad and is now training with the England U-21 team. Her goal is to be chosen to take part in the World Youth Netball Championships and says the grant will be a big help towards her travel and training expenses.

        • Anya Wood

          Anya Wood  Netball

          Anya has already been selected for the England U-17 squad, playing in the Netball Europe U-17 Championships in March, which England won. She now hopes to be selected for the U-19 training squad and to represent her country in the Commonwealth Games and the Netball World Cup.

        • Connie Dean

          Connie Dean  Swimming

          Maidenhead swimmer Connie, trains twice a day, chalking up 16-18 hours in the pool every week and now specialises in the individual medley over both 200m and 400m. A member of the Maidenhead Marlins swimming club, together with her coach, Connie has her eye on both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Olympics.

        • Jamal Khan

          Jamal Khan  Boxing

          Jamal, from Cressex, High Wycombe, fights in the 52kg weight category and for the last three years he has taken home the GB Schoolboys Three Nations title. Having started boxing at nine and with an ambition to become world champion and emulate his heroes Amir Khan and Muhammed Ali, he has already been tipped by his coach for future Olympic glory.

        • Alex Smallwood

          Alex Smallwood  Sailing

          Alex Smallwood, from Amersham, started sailing at the tender age of five and was entering competitions by the time he was 11. His prowess on the water was soon spotted, winning him a place on an accelerated sailing training programme and he has already competed internationally, gaining valuable experience at the junior championships in Bulgaria last year.

        • Georgie Whitaker

          Georgie Whitaker  Hockey

          Georgie took up the sport aged nine, going on to play for Marlow, Wycombe and Reading hockey clubs. At 14, she was selected for the England U16 squad and in 2014 moved up to join the U18s. Training at least five days a week at Bisham Abbey, home to England Hockey, Georgie was recently chosen to join the development squad for the England U21 team.

        • Amy Jones

          Amy Jones  Squash

          Amy was six when she began playing squash alongside her brother and father, and has rose through county and regional rankings to achieve her first England EDP Squad selection at 13. She was 6th in the U17 British Closed, while in December 2013, she travelled to her first major international tournament, coming 9th in the U15 US Open.

        • Charlotte West

          Charlotte West  Golf

          Buckinghamshire champion and member of Harewood Downs Golf Club, she began playing golf at the age of just nine, when her father offered her a lesson and almost immediately her potential was spotted by the club’s golf pro. Now practising six days a week, her ambition is to play at St Andrew’s, turn professional and play on the PGA tour.

        • Rufus Biggs

          Rufus Biggs  Rowing

          Having started rowing aged just 13 and won gold at a national schools event in his first year, Rufus’ career is going from strength to strength. In 2013 he was part of the senior boys’ quadruple sculls and qualified for the finals of his age category at the Henley Royal Regatta, something he says is his “biggest achievement” to date.

        • Tash Pavelin

          Tash Pavelin  Netball

          One of the highlights of her career so far was when the Beaconsfield High School team won the England Netball U16 National Schools competition in 2013, and since then she has been selected to join the England U17 Performance Pathway. Tash plays for High Wycombe’s Clan Netball Club and the Hertfordshire Mavericks U19 team, which competes in England Netball’s Performance League – billed as the most exciting national U19 competition in the country.

        • Dan Greene

          Dan Greene  MENCAP Athlete

          Sports-mad Dan, who attends Langley College, is a 60 metre and 100 metre runner and trains at the Brunel & Eton Athletic Track, where he receives one-to-one training from top athlete Rion Pierre, who in turn is coached by Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie. A member of the Windsor, Slough and Eton Athletics Club, Dan developed learning differences after being diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just a few months old.

        • George Winsborrow

          George Winsborrow  Wheelchair Basketball

          Aylesbury-based wheelchair basketball player George, took up the sport aged just nine, after being introduced to it at a Wheelpower multi-sport weekend for disabled children. Now part of the senior Aces squad, he spends a lot of weekends travelling throughout the south east of England to take part in competitions, and also provides help for junior members at training sessions.

        • Jack Clee

          Jack Clee  Hockey

          Jack belongs to Marlow Hockey Club and is a member of the England U18 hockey squad. Jack has represented his country a number of times in tournaments at home and abroad, winning a bronze medal in the England U16s in last year’s Four Nations Tournament in Holland.

        • Pippa Woolven

          Pippa Woolven  Athletics

          In 2012, Pippa received the first ever gold medal to be awarded inside London’s Olympic Stadium after she took top honours in the 2000m steeplechase at the British Universities & Colleges Athletics Championships Olympic Test Event. She has already represented Great Britain on a number of occasions, including at the World Junior Athletics Championships.

        • Alice Freeman

          Alice Freeman  Hockey

          The talented teen plays for the Reading Ladies 1st team and was selected for the England U18s.She began playing when she was just nine, first played for Marlow hockey club, before moving on to Wycombe, and then joined the high-flying Reading team in 2011, recently competing with her Reading team mates in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in Brussels.

        • Emma Pang

          Emma Pang  Judo

          A pupil at Beaconsfield High School, Emma comes from a truly sporting family – her three sisters also compete in judo at a very high level and are national champions – and as the youngest she is keen not only to follow in their footsteps but to outdo their achievements. Already a four times national champion, winning in the U13, U15 and U17 categories.

        • Nikki Emerson

          Nikki Emerson  Wheelchair Athletics

          Nikki had been studying at Oxford University when a near-fatal car crash broke her spine and left her as a wheelchair user. During 10 weeks of intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy at Stoke Mandeville National Spinal Injuries Centre she was inspired to take up Paralympic sport after watching the Beijing Paralympics. Nikki is a T53 wheelchair racer and narrowly missed out on London 2012. Her journey was captured on a recent Channel 4 documentary.

        • Lauren Cattell

          Lauren Cattell  Rugby

          A fly half, who recently joined the ranks of the England Women’s Under 20s rugby team.. She began playing at just eight. By the age of 12, her talents had been spotted and today she plays for the Chesham squad, where her father and brother also play, while her mother helps to manage the Bucks Jesters team.

        • Becky Menday

          Becky Menday  Snowboarding

          Young freestyle snowboarder Becky Menday, from Waddesdon, has taken part in several major competitions on both indoor dry slopes and outdoors and is aiming for the Winter Olympics in 2014 or 2018. Already a member of the GB Junior Freestyle Team, she has chalked up an impressive list of results. While in European competitions she regularly achieves podium positions and gold medals in her age category.

        • Lewis Sloan

          Lewis Sloan  Rowing

          Windsor rower Lewis Sloan, trains six days a week in preparation for upcoming trials. He is already a member of the under 18s Great Britain junior rowing team and his next goal is to be selected for the under 23s and then step up to the senior team, with high hopes of aiming for success in the lightweight classes in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.

  • SportsAid
  • B P Collins LLP
  • Brubeck
  • Jansons Property
  • Eton College Rowing Center
  • Beaufort Financial
  • Quantuma
  • Leap
  • Nunn Hayward Accountants
  • CloudMoves TV