Louis Persent

  1. Louis Persent was a 400m runner and a Cambridge graduate
    Image: Louis Persent was a 400m runner and a Cambridge graduate
  2. Louis Persent in training with Tony Lester
    Image: Louis enjoyed the guidance of coach Tony Lester
  3. Louis Persent trains in Florida
    Image: Louis often headed to the USA where he trained in Florida
  4. Image: Louis was lucky enough to meet and interview David Beckham

Louis was a 400m runner with a host of medals to his name including the 4x400m silver won at the 2008 World Junior Championships. Hopes were high and he also enjoyed the coaching talents of Tony Lester (former GB national coach and now Head of Sports Scholarships).

The Ipswich School student showed plenty of class early on in his career - awarded a place on the UK Athletics' World Class Talent Programme at the age of 17. As well as his running, Louis also earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Cambridge.

He went from strength to strength on the track, winning 400m bronze at the 2009 European Junior Championships and also helped the 4x400m relay team win gold.

Despite an injury hit campaign Louis still managed to attain the Olympic B Standard time for the 400m in 2012. It was also the summer he ran his 400m PB in Geneva, clocking 45.77s.

Louis Persent in training with Tony Lester
Image: Louis enjoyed the guidance of coach Tony Lester

Despite not making the GB squad for his home Games, the Colchester Harrier was still able to get involved as a graphic designer working for London's Olympic and Paralympic organising committee.

Louis secured a spot on the Sky Scholarship scheme after the London Games and was mentored by 400m legend Roger Black as he embarked on a challenging journey to return to fitness.

The funding he received from being a Scholar funding enabled him to visit Texas and the Michael Johnson Performance centre where he underwent testing and rehabilitation following a niggling Achilles injury.

Despite occasional glimpses of recovery, his long term injury problems resurfaced in the summer of 2016 and he regretfully decided to hang up his spikes.

Louis Persent trains in Florida
Image: Louis often headed to the USA where he trained in Florida

Louis said: "Sport is full of stories of amazing people overcoming adversity and I have never wanted to quit anything.

"Unfortunately I 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. 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 Scholar sharpened my drive and given me skills outside of sport. I am enormously grateful."

Head of Sky Academy Sports Scholarships Tony Lester added: ""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.

Image: Louis was lucky enough to meet and interview David Beckham

"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.

"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."