Athlete Alumni

Ashley Bryant

No.1 ranked GB Decathlete, Ashley studied Sports Science at Brunel University in London and trains for 50 hours per week. Decathlon is made up of 10 events but Ashley's favourites are hurdles and long jump.

Ashley won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Ashley's motto: Losing isn’t failure; it moves you a step closer to success.

Olympic gymnast Becky Downie

Becky Downie

As one of Britain's best gymnasts, Becky has won seven British all-around titles. She currently trains up to 30 hours per week at the Notts Gymnastics Academy and is going to the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Ben Brown

The Sports for Schools scheme was set up in 2005 by former Great Britain gymnast, Ben Brown. Ben featured heavily in the Back the Bid Campaign which eventually saw London win as host nation of the 2012 Olympic Games. Ben was forced to quit his passion due to the lack of much needed funding in his sport. He was motivated to ensure that this did not happen to other sporting hopefuls and had a desire to inspire children across the UK to take up sport and lead healthy lifestyles.

Ben Rushgrove

GB Paralympic sprinter, Ben takes part in the 100m and 200m events. Ben grew up in Bath but spent a year of his education in Australia. His school PE teacher recognised him as having great potential in sport and, despite suffering from cerebral palsy (which affects his ability to co-ordinate his movements) Ben didn't allow that to stop him when he was spotted by British Athletics.

Since 2006, Ben has been winning world championship medals. His most recent in the 2012 Paralympics where he took a bronze in the 200m sprint.

Beth Tweddle

Beth is the most successful British gymnast of all time! Beth has been to three Olympic Games and won a bronze medal at London 2012. She retired in August 2013 and now does lots of different things including media work, running her own business and inspiring the next generation.

Chris Gregory

Chris is a Beach Volleyball Player. Chris' professional journey began in 2008 when he applied for the Talent ID programme Sporting Giants. After being tested, he was selected to play volleyball and went all the way to compete for his country.

Christine McMahon

Christine is an Irish 400m hurdler and grew up in Glenmormley in north Belfast.

She was prompted to take up hurdling when she was picked for the cross-country team in P6.

Did you know? Christine is a trained dentist.

Danny Lawrence on vertical bars

Danny Lawrence

GB International gymnast Danny has made over 40 British International appearances and competed at 3 European and 3 world championships. Danny is a 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medalist and team England captain. Leading the most successful Commonwealth Games for gymnastics so far is definitely one of his career highlights.

As well as spending many hours a week training at South Essex Gymnastics Club, Danny is in fact also a firefighter!

Preparation is key to success, believes Danny, who says “everyone has the will to win, very few have the will to prepare to win.”

Darius Knight

GB Table Tennis player Darius Knight has been playing above his age since reaching international standard when he was just 12 years old. At 14, he had his debut playing for the England Men's Senior team at the 6 Nations. Since then, Darius has been in the top 5 in the English Senior Rankings and is currently ranked number 3.

Darius has been all over the World during his career, playing in the French, Spanish, Belgian and German leagues! Next on the list is Sweden!

Did you know that Darius has made his own brand of Table Tennis equipment?! He says that each product has a unique story that relates to different aspects of his life.

Gemma Collis

Growing up Gemma was very athletic and took part in lots of sports, competing at a national level in Figure Skating and representing her county in Hockey and Athletics.

In 2008, Gemma's dreams were dashed when she was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a progressive nervous system disease.

Gemma tried Wheelchair Fencing when she was studying at Durham University and just 10 months after discovering the sport, competed at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Gemma says "since I have become disabled I have learnt that you have to see obstacles as hurdles you can get over, not barriers stopping you."

Grant Turner swimming

Grant Turner

Born in Swindon, now living in Loughborough, Grant is a GB Swimmer.

Grant’s specialisms are the 50m and 100m freestyle events and has competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics,

Grant is now retired but when he was training he used to swim over 60km a week when training.

Grant’s greatest role model in life is his father and his family are most important to him.

Grant’s top tip for life is to enjoy what you do. He believes that happiness leads to success.

Hannah Whelan

GB Olympic gymnast, the energetic Hannah began gym classes at the age of 6, having always cartwheeled around the supermarket with her mum! She was first selected to represent GB at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and went on to compete in various World and European champs as well as the London 2012 Olympic team.

Hannah won an all-round bronze medal and team gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and is twice British champion.

Beam and floor are Hannah's favourites.

"Never give up on your dreams", a top tip from Hannah!

Harry Owen

Harry first started gymnastics when he was just 6 years old! He has now got over 15 years of experience and most recently represented Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Helen Galashan

Helen is former British Gymnastics Champion and represented GB for 5 years.

After retiring from gymnastics, Helen set her sights on competing in her 3rd Commonwealth Games but this time as a 10m platform diver and in less that 2 years she became national champion.

Did you know! Helen also has a twin and she has always enjoyed competing against her!

James Denny

GB Diver James Denny started diving when he was 12 years old in 2005.

In 2014, he came 4th at the European Champs in the 10m synchro with Tom Daley.

He won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in the same event with Tom.

He won silver at the British Champs in the 3m synchro event with Oliver Dingley and Gold on his own in the 3m event.

And to top it all James was the first ever British male diver to complete forward 4.5 somersaults in competition!

James' motto: 'Where there's a will, there's a way'.

Jess Taylor

Jess is a GB Heptathlete. Heptathlon comprises 7 events: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin throw and 800m.

Jess's greatest achievements to date include winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and finishing her 7 year degree in architecture. Unsurprisingly, Jessica Ennis-Hill is one of her most important role models.

Jess's top tip: 'Smile, Laugh, Take every opportunity and have no regrets'.

Kola Adedoyin GB Triple Jumper

Kola Adedoyin

Kola won 1st place in Triple Jump at the GB National Indoor Championships in March 2013 giving him the no. 1 GB rank. Whilst training full time, Kola also managed to study for his degree and graduated from Brunel University in October 2013.

His favourite subject at school was always P.E. although he believes that the most important subject is maths.

“Work hard in the winter, show off in the summer” is Kola’s motto!

Lee Shinkin

GB Judoka Lee is seven-time national champion and a Commonwealth Bronze medalist. Lee narrowly missed out on London 2012 but this has not stopped him!

As well as being a competitor, Lee is also a judo coach and a mentor.

Nathan Fox

GB Triple-Jumper Nathan Fox is the Under 16 Triple Jump record holder, the 2008 English Schools Champion and 2010 (Under 23) England Champion. Nathan trains at Brunel University and is coached by Tosin Oke.

In 2012 Nathan achieved silver medal at the National championships, has made over 30 British International appearances, and was a finalist at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He is also the 2016 & 2017 British Indoor Champion.

Nathan's top tip is to "always do something you have a passion for. Never give up and always have fun!"

Nathan French

Olympic volleyball player Nathan started playing the sport when he was 13 and was the youngest member of the men’s British volleyball team in the 2012 Olympics. He broke his arm in 2009 but he didn’t let that stop him – just a few months later he made his senior international debut for Britain against Albania!

Nathan got inspired to play volleyball by his PE teacher at school. He started by just having fun playing with friends. Then he was selected for the England cadets in 2005 and now he is a GB Olympian!

Nathan says that endurance is the key to doing well. Volleyball is such a technical sport that it takes a lot of hard work off court as well as on court!

Rachel Latham paralympic swimming

Rachael Latham

Born with Erbs Palsy, a paralysis of the arm caused by an injury to the arms main nerves, Rachael started swimming at age 3 and was introduced to Paralympic swimming age 9. She narrowly missed out on 2004 Athens Paralympics which made her even more determined than ever to compete in Beijing 2008. Despite a muscle coming loose in her “good” shoulder only 3 months before and undergoing major surgery Rachael qualified for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Rachael is the European record holder for 200m butterfly and World record holder for the 50m butterfly.

Rachael now reports for Channel 4 and spends her time helping to inspire the next generation.

Romaine Bailey

Romaine is a GB Taekwondo competitor and first represented Great Britain at the age of 14. Romaine went on to become a full time athlete when he turned 16 and has competed at Junior and Senior European and World Championships.

Romaine also coaches Taekwondo and in 2011, he was part of a coaching team that held training camps at the National Academy.

Ross Davenport

Ross Davenport is one of Britain's most successful swimmers, representing his country at three Olympic Games. Ross retired from swimming at the age of 28 and has since spent time inspiring the next generation and now works for an innovative swimwear company.

Ryan Raghoo

Ryan is a GB Long Jumper and competes in the T36 category. Ryan's amazing drive and determination is more than just going to the Olympic Games as he is also adamant to change the perception of disability through his "Enabled not Disabled campaign".

Ryan's motto for life is "Impossible is a state of mind!"

Steve Jehu on the pommel horse

Steve Jehu

Commonwealth games silver medallist gymnast, Steve is now training the next generation of gymnasts at Exeter Gymnastics Club. Junior European and Commonwealth Games finalist in 2004, U16 British Champion in 2005, Steve went on to win a silver medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He has made over 40 British International appearances and came 3rd in the 2011 English championships.
Steve believes that “the difference between the impossible and the possible lies in one’s determination”.

Steve now hopes to coach his gymnasts to Olympic level in 2016 and 2020.

Theo Spalding

Five times British Champion Theo Spalding grew up in East London and took up Judo as a way of keeping out of trouble. He has many achievements tied under his black belt now, as he is also a European Cup Medallist, Commonwealth Champion and 1st place Heart of England Champion!
Theo believes that there is
so much more to sport than just physical activity...his compelling story reminds us that sport is a way of life.

Yamile Aldama Pozo

Olympic Triple Jumper Yamilé has had a long and illustrious career, having represented Cuba, Sudan, and Great Britain.

Her first Olympic participation was in 2000 in Cuba. Then, after initially not being granted British citizenship, she gained Sudanese citizenship in time to compete at the 2004 Olympics. Finally in 2010 she gained British citizenship and represented Team GB at London 2012!

At the 2012 World Indoor Championships Yamilé won a Gold medal in the Triple Jump – and was the second oldest athlete to ever achieve it.