Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Olympic hopefuls named Team Essex Ambassadors for 2011
Team Essex Ambassadors Chrystall Nicoll, Reiss Beckford and Chloe Rogers
Nicoll and Beckford join Rogers in the Team Essex Ambassadors line-up

Thirteen of the county's Olympic and Paralympic prospects have been unveiled as the 2011 Team Essex Ambassadors.

The Essex County Council run scheme gives each athlete a £6,500 bursary towards their training and competition.

In return they will visit schools and community groups to inspire people about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Among the 13 are Commonwealth Games medalists Alex Dowsett, Chloe Rogers, James Huckle and Reiss Beckford.

This is the third year of the project which has been acknowledged by the official London 2012 Inspire Programme.

Several previous ambassadors are included triathlete Jodie Swallow, bocchia player Daniel Bentley and sailor Hannah Stodel.

After joining the scheme in 2010, Theydon Bois swimmer Emma Hollis told BBC Essex it was an honour to be a part of it once again.

Team Essex Ambassadors
Adam Alderman, Braintree - Paralympic Power lifting
Alex Dowsett, Maldon - Cycling
Chloe Rogers, Dunmow - Hockey
Chrystall Nicoll, Wickford - Fencing
Daniel Bentley, Dunmow - Boccia
Emma Hollis, Theydon Bois - Paralympic Swimming
Hannah Stodel, West Mersea - Paralympic Sailing
James Huckle, Harlow - Shooting
Jodie Swallow, Brentwood - Triathlon
Katrina Hughes, Leigh-on-Sea - Sailing
Reiss Beckford, Enfield - Gymnastics
Roberto Pavoni, Shenfield - Brentwood
Saskia Clark, Colchester - Sailing

"It really means a lot, it's really nice to know there is recognition out there for sports people and that all your hard work has paid off," said the 18-year old.

"It's nice for people to understand and recognise the amount of hard work people actually do.

"It means a lot to me to have the support and also to be able to do these ambassadorial duties."

Emma, who swam for Great Britain in the 2010 Paralympic World Cup, explained how the bursary was vital to somebody in her position.

"Goodness, it helps so much. My brother [James] is a swimmer as well, so my Mum has double the pressure from both of us," she said.

"So it's really, really helpful for training costs, fees, memberships and things like that.

"Obviously the racing suits are so expensive now and with training suits the chlorene eats them so much, so we get through training suits at least once every few weeks. It's things like that which add up."

Among the new names include sailors Saskia Clark and Katrina Hughes, swimmer Roberto Pavoni and fencer Chrystall Nicoll.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific