Louis Persent has reluctantly decided to leave the Sky Academy Sports Scholarship programme due to persistent injury.
Hopes were high for the 400m runner who won a medal at the 2008 World Juniors and was being coached by Tony Lester (former GB national coach and now Head of Sports Scholarships), but with long term injuries resurfacing this summer, the 25-year-old from Colchester has arrived at a tough decision.
Louis is understandably disappointed, but Tony feels the Cambridge graduate has the character and drive to thrive off the track, with a career at Sky one option.
Having suffered with Achilles injuries for the last seven years, Louis said:
"Sport is full of stories of amazing people overcoming adversity and I have never wanted to quit anything. Unfortunately I have lost the critical belief that my body is able to withstand the demands of training. It has been an upward battle that I've never shied away from for the last 36 months, but I have spent 26 of those months unable to run.
"My experience with Sky has been nothing but brilliant. The scope of support boosted my confidence, expanded my horizons and changed my life. I've learnt there are many things to pursue in life, with many definitions of success. I'm thankful that being a Sports Scholar has sharpened my drive and given me skills outside of sport I am confident will help me. For that I am enormously grateful."
Head of Sky Academy Sports Scholarships, Tony Lester said:
"The guy has been fighting injuries since 2012. He's got the potential to be a world class athlete, but sadly with the nature of sport, if you have a weakness in your body that can't be resolved it will find you out.
"It's been a huge frustration for Louis. He has the potential to be a world class athlete and has done everything within his powers to be back on the track and competing. It's a massive call and he's upset and feels hurt because he can't fulfil his potential.
"It's a choice he's made and we at Sky are all very supportive of him. Our top Scholars won't all be healthy and won't all go to the Olympics and he just feels he can't do it anymore. It's broken him and he wants to go on to a new career.
"He's a very smart fellow and he will have a career elsewhere. Our doors at Sky will always be open to Louis. Sky wants bright young people. We took a punt on Louis because we recognised his potential, just as we recognise potential in young people in sport and elsewhere.
"Louis will go on to do great things. We originally chose him as a Scholar because we knew he had a 'can do' attitude. In sport or life it's all about a 'can do' attitude and application. Louis has got this by the bucketful. Whatever he turns his hand to he will succeed because he's that kind of character. He's welcome at Sky anytime, any day."