Sky Sports launches even bigger scholarship scheme

By in Governance, People & Places

Tuesday 19th September

The Sky Sports Scholarship Programme is returning for a third time, selecting a new group of rising stars who will benefit from unrivalled funding, new opportunities and even more focused support.

After a highly competitive application process, Sky Sports has launched its third scholarship programme with ten budding sportsmen and women from the UK and Ireland on board. The scholarship, which has already helped over 20 athletes, provides young athletes with a unique level of support through their relationship with Sky as they develop their careers.

The programme runs from 2017-2020 and offers scholars benefits which include financial aid, both a sporting and business executive mentor, media training, personal development and work experience.

The third Sky Sports Scholarship Programme has also opened its doors to athletes from a greater range of sports and for the first time includes scholars specialising in tennis, modern pentathlon and climbing. Each of the scholars has a different and exciting story, and Sky will closely support them as they take the next steps on their journey.

The ten athletes awarded scholarships are:

  • Freya Anderson (swimming)
  • Emily Appleton (tennis)
  • Joe Fraser (gymnastics)
  • Ellen Keane (para-swimming)
  • Samantha Kinghorn (wheelchair racing)
  • Imani Lansiquot (sprints)
  • Max Litchfield (swimming)
  • Andrew Pozzi (hurdles)
  • Francesca Summers (modern pentathlon)
  • Molly Thompson-Smith (indoor climbing)

The scheme will award further scholarships to European athletes from Italy, Germany and Austria.

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky UK and Ireland Chief Executive, commented: “Sky plays a key role in encouraging and inspiring young people to set bigger goals and go further than the previous generation, and our Sports Scholarship programme is a fine example of this. The scholars joining us today have limitless potential and with the full weight of Sky supporting them they can be anything they want to be. I’m excited to see their stories unfold over the coming years.”

Tony Lester, Head of Sky Sports Scholarship programme, said: “This is a fascinating group of young athletes and future sporting success stories, and it’s a real privilege to be able to impact on their careers at such a crucial time. Sky has supported more than 20 athletes over the past six years, and we’ve been able to help them reach even higher in their goals. This time it will be an even stronger bond that we form to help them not only in their sport, but as they get perspective on the huge opportunities in front of them.” 

The new scholars will be following the footsteps of alumni such as: Katie Taylor (Olympic gold medallist – Boxing), Siobhan Marie O’Connor (Silver – swimming) and Louis Smith, as well as World Champions Olivia Breen (Pap- Long Jump) and Elise Christie (Speed Skating).

Katie Taylor, former Sky Sports Scholar and professional boxer, said: “Sky has been a tremendous support throughout my career, it began with the Scholarship programme supporting me on my journey to an Olympic gold medal in 2012. It is amazing to see how far it has come since I was a scholar and how Sky are able to use all their tools to help and propel young athletes. I wish all of the new scholars the best of luck and know they will enjoy being part of the Sky family.”