About Sky Academy Sports Scholarships

Last Updated: 08/02/2017, 14:13 GMT

Sky is committed to the development of sport at all levels, and with Sky Academy Sports Scholarships we're helping 11 of Britain and Ireland's most exciting young athletes fulfil their potential on the international stage.

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 are: Jack Bateson (boxing), Holly Bleasdale (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 will also partner up with a Sky Sports mentor who will offer 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'm incredibly excited by the 11 athletes who'll be joining us on the Sky Sports Scholarship.

"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.

"Over the next three years we'll be 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 are the new class of Sky Academy Sports Scholars....

Jack Bateson

Jack is a flyweight 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. Click here for more info.

Holly Bleasdale

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 despite being just 23 years of age. Click here for more info.

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 has recently begun training to compete in the long jump as well. Click here for more info.

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 this year. Click here for more info.

Lucy Garner

Lucy is double World Junior Road Race champion and currently races for Dutch team Giant-Shimano. The teenager 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. Click here for more info.

Quillan Isidore

Quillan is a BMX racer and in 2012 won the UCI Boys 16 at the World Championships. At just 18, Quillan is already a three-time British Junior champion and double national champion. Click here for more info.

Jessica Judd

Jessica is a middle-distance runner, competing in both the 800m and 1500m events. Last season Jessica took gold at the European Team Championships and also won her first Diamond League event, both in the 800m. Only 20, the Canvey Island girl was part of the Great Britain squad for 2013's World Athletics Championships and also claimed the silver medal at the 2014 U20's European Cross Country Championships. Click here for more info.

Savannah Marshall

Savannah is a middleweight boxer and the reigning Commonwealth, European Union and World Combat Games champion in that division. In 2012 Savannah won the World Championship gold medal and she was also a member of the GB boxing squad for the Olympic Games. Click here for more info.

Siobhan-Marie O'Connor

Siobhan is a swimmer with the 200m individual medley her favourite event and this year 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, where she was part of the British team that made the 4x100m medley final. Click here for more info.

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. Click here for more info.

Mark English

Mark was unveiled as the 12th 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. Click here for more info.