Teenage athletes prepare for Olympic challenge

04 December 2008

Four University of Bath students are preparing to represent Great Britain at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, which takes place in Sydney next month.

Hockey players Harriet Pearce and Lewis Prosser have been named in the GB squads for the event, while Jake Sheaf and Adam Smith will compete in the beach volleyball tournament.

They are members of TeamGB’s 119-strong squad for the bi-annual festival, which takes place between 14 and 18 January.

Two University of Bath-based coaches are also part of the GB set-up for the festival. Morph Bowes, who is assistant director of volleyball at the University, will be GB volleyball team leader, while Mo Glover, who competed in the sport at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, travels to Sydney as a member of the GB coaching team.

Sports Performance student Harriet Pearce has already played for England at under-18 and under-21 levels. The 19-year-old plays sweeper for Clifton Ladies in the Slazenger England Hockey Premier Division and for the University of Bath in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) fixtures.

A member of the Hockey West National Performance Centre training group, she will be part of the GB squad aiming to defend the title they won two years ago.

Lewis Prosser is also 19 and studying Sports Performance at the University of Bath, having completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Sport Excellence (AASE). A talented midfielder, he plays for Team Bath Buccaneers men’s firsts in Slazenger England Hockey Conference West and for the University of Bath in BUCS games. He has played for Wales under-21 and already has four senior caps for Wales.

Harriet said: “It’s massive for both of us to be selected. The British girls won it last time, so it would be pretty impressive if we could do it again.”

Lewis added: “I can’t wait to get out there, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Jake Sheaf and Adam Smith are both Sports Performance students at the University of Bath They have only recently teamed up as a partnership.

Jake, who graduated from the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme, said: “I’m really excited about it and looking forward to playing some good teams and having the whole Olympic experience.”

Adam, who took up beach volleyball after being spotted through the Sporting Giants talent identification programme, said: “This will be my first overseas tournament, so I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

The Australian Youth Olympic Festival is a bi-annual multi-sport event for athletes aged 13 to 19. The 2009 festival, which runs from 14 to 18 January, is expected to attract some 1600 athletes from 25 countries.

For further information please contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518 or by email at press@matchtight.co.uk

You can also find out more about Team Bath at www.teambath.com , follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teambath or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/teambath

The University of Bath is The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12.

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