About Sky Academy Sports Scholarships

  1. Jack Bateson
    Jack Bateson has been supported on the scheme since London 2012

The Scholarships offer a programme of support tailored to each athletes specific requirements covering areas such as funding, media coaching, mentoring and wider developmental support.

The 11 athletes selected and awarded Scholarships: Jack Bateson (boxing), Holly Bradshaw (pole vault), Olivia Breen (sprint/ long jump), Elise Christie (speed skating), Lucy Garner (cycling), Quillan Isidore (BMX), Jessica Judd (1500m), Savannah Marshall (boxing), Siobhan-Marie O'Connor (swimming), Sam Oldham (gymnastics) and Mark English (800m).

The athletes have also partnered up with a Sky Sports mentor who have been offering their support as they prepare for life in the spotlight.

Alongside Sky Sports Living for Sport, Sky Ride and Game Changers, the Scholarship is another demonstration of Sky Sports' dedication to sport from grass-roots to elite level.

Tony Lester, head of Sky Academy Sports Scholarships, said: "I know from more than 20 years' involvement in athletics that success at the highest level is about much more than just physical ability.

"You need the right combination of performance, personal development and a strong support network.

"We're building a relationship which enables these athletes to develop their talents and compete to their full potential."

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, added: "We're proud of our Scholarship scheme and we're proud of our 11 Scholars.

"At Sky we believe in the power of sport and the difference it can make at all levels and we can't wait to partner with these athletes over the next three years."

And here is the class of Sky Academy Sports Scholars....

Jack Bateson

Jack is a bantamweight boxer and claimed bronze at 2013's European Championships as a light-flyweight. Having made his international bow in 2007, Jack has since gone on to win the gold medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2011 and become senior ABA national champion in his previous weight class.

Holly Bradshaw

Holly is Britain's leading female pole vaulter and in 2013 showed her undoubted talent to win gold at the European Indoor Athletics Championships. Holly has already competed at both the World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Olivia Breen

Olivia is a T38 sprinter and won a bronze medal at 2012's Paralympic Games in the 4x100m relay. After less than two years competing at the top level, Olivia has made it to the final of the T38 100m and 200m in both the Paralympic Games and the World Championships as well as winning European bronze medals in the two events in 2012. She is also developing her skills in the long jump.

Elise Christie

Elise is a short track speed skater and double European champion after victory in the 1000m earlier this year. Elise has also won overall gold in the 1000m in the 2012/13 World Cup series event and won 500m silver in the World Championships. Her start to the World Cup series in the 2016/17 season has been phenomenal.

Lucy Garner

Lucy is double World Junior Road Race champion and rides for Wiggle High5. The Leicester star won her first senior race in her debut season on the circuit in China last year, following on from being named the Sunday Times' Young Sports Woman of the Year in 2011.

Quillan Isidore

Quillan is a BMX racer and in 2012 won the UCI Boys 16 at the World Championships. Quillan is already a three-time British Junior champion and double national champion.

Jessica Judd

Jessica is a middle-distance runner, competing in the 800m and 1500m events. Jessica has won gold at the European Team Championships and also secured glory in her first Diamond League event. The Canvey Island girl was part of the GB squad for 2013's World Athletics Championships and also won silver at the 2014 U20's European Cross Country Championships.

Savannah Marshall

Savannah is a middleweight boxer and has won gold at the Commonwealths, European Union and World Combat Games. In 2012 Savannah won World gold and she was also a member of the GB boxing squad for the Olympics in London and Rio where she just missed out on the podium.

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor

Siobhan is a swimmer with the 200m individual medley her favourite event. She won an incredible six medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, including the 200IM gold. Siobhan is also a very capable 100m breaststroke swimmer and it is in this discipline that she competed at the 2012 Olympics. She has continued to shine and won silver at the Rio Games.

Sam Oldham

Sam is a gymnast with Olympic experience and a growing list of medals on the international stage. An all-around gymnast, Sam was named Youth Olympic high bar champion in 2010 and took the bronze medal at the European Championships at senior level in 2013. Although he missed out on selection for Rio, great things are expected in the build-up to Japan.

Mark English

Mark was unveiled as the 11th athlete to join the Sky Academy Sports Scholarships programme in April 2015. The 800m runner from Donegal just missed out on gold after a stunning show at the European Indoor Championships in March in Prague. He is also a European bronze medallist and along with the running, he's also been busy studying medicine at University College Dublin. He also impressed at the Rio Games despite fracturing his ankle four months before.