British Athletics has announced the 62 athletes who have been offered membership to the Olympic and Paralympic Futures Academy programmes for 2021, which is supported by Nike, the Official Partner of the Futures Academy Programme.
Due to the challenging circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, and the impact this has had on our athletes, British Athletics has retained all athletes from the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Futures Academy Programme for the year ahead.
There are ten additions to Olympic Futures Academy Programme including two athletes who moved up the UK all-time age-group rankings this year; hammer thrower Charlotte Payne (Paul Dickenson; Reading) and endurance athlete Jake Smith (James Thie; Cardiff).
Smith lowered the British U23 Half Marathon record in phenomenal style at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, in October. His time of 60:31 also saw him move to third on the UK all-time list behind Sir Mo Farah and Callum Hawkins.
Payne won silver in the women’s hammer with a mark of 63.92 metres at the Müller British Athletics Championships in Manchester back in September, moving to second in the UK all-time U20 rankings behind Sophie Hitchon.
Other additions to the Programme include; 2020 British 1500m champion (indoors and outdoors), George Mills (Jon Bigg; Brighton Phoenix), Kelechi Aguocha (Fuzz Caan; Blackheath & Bromley), Piers Copeland (Robert Smith; Wimborne), Daniel Falode (Guy Spencer; Cambridge Harriers), Thomas Keen (Mark Vile; Cambridge & Coleridge), Khahisa Mhlanga (Mick Judd; Herts Phoenix), Joshua Lay (Sonia McGeorge and Chris McGeorge; Rugby & Northampton) and Jodie Smith (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow).
Selections for the Futures Relay Programme will be made in the new year.
Among those retained on the Programme include British Athletics Indoor Championships 60m champion, Amy Hunt (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood), British 800m champion, Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter; Leigh), and Max Burgin (Ian Burgin; Halifax), who lowered his 800m PB to 1:44.75 this season.
There are also six additions to the Paralympic Futures Academy Programme including 2019 World Para Athletics Junior Championships T20 400m bronze medallist, Ethan Kirby (Nick Harris; Newton Abbot).
Kirby lowered his 400m to 51.87 during a challenging 2020 season, achieving the time in Yeovil in September.
The other five athletes include Melanie Woods (Self / John Owens; Red Star) who competed at the Müller British Athletics Championships in the women’s 400m wheelchair race in September, placing third overall. Victoria Baskett (Katie Jones; University of Sheffield), Columba Blango (Chris Zah; Shaftesbury Barnet), Jade Smith (Matthew Crehan; St Helens Sutton), Kirsty Soutar (Gary Beggan; Red Star) and Owen Williams (Anthony Hughes; Disability Sport Wales) complete the new additions to the Programme.
Among those retained include European T38 400m silver medallist, Ross Paterson (John Kinder / Alasdair Barker; Red Star), and World Para Athletics Junior Championships double silver medallist, Kirsty Taylor (Joe McDonnell / Morgan Jones; Disability Sport Wales).
Olympic Futures Academy
Amber Anning (Lloyd Cowan; Brighton & Hove) **
Jeremiah Azu (Helen James; Cardiff)
Kelechi Aguocha (Fuzz Caan; Blackheath & Bromley)
Sam Bennett (Steven Surety; Basildon)
Isabelle Boffey (Luke Gunn; Enfield & Haringey)
Shemar Boldizsar (Harlow AC)
Alex Botterill (Andrew Henderson; City of York)
Max Burgin (Ian Burgin; Halifax Harriers)
Lewis Byng (Stuart Carlaw; Harrow)
Molly Caudery (Scott Simpson; Thames Valley)
Alastair Chalmers (Matt Elias; Guernsey)
Piers Copeland (Robert Smith; Wimborne)
Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist; Colchester)
Oliver Dustin (Graeme Mason; Border)
Jona Efoloko (Sale Harriers Manchester)
Daniel Falode (Guy Spencer; Cambridge Harriers)
Cameron Fillery (Michael Baker; Woodford Green Essex Ladies)
Lucy Hadaway (Matt Barton; City of York)
Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter; Leigh)
Amy Hunt (Joe McDonnell; Charnwood)
Thomas Keen (Mark Vile; Cambridge & Coleridge)
Joshua Lay (Sonia McGeorge and Chris McGeorge; Rugby & Northampton)
Lucy-Jane Matthews (Alan Richardson; Birchfield)
Khahisa Mhlanga (Mick Judd; Herts Phoenix)
George Mills (Jon Bigg; Brighton Phoenix)
Holly Mills (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Andover)
Jake Norris (Paul Dickenson; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) **
Jade O’Dowda (Toni Minichiello; Newham & Essex Beagles)
Dominic Ogbechie (Marius Guei; Highgate)
Divine Olapido (Ashley Kovacs / John Hillier; Blackheath & Bromley) **
Ben Pattison (Dave Ragan; Basingstoke & Mid Hants)
Charlotte Payne (Paul Dickenson; Reading)
Jake Smith (James Thie; Cardiff)
Jodie Smith (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)
James Tomlinson (Pembrokeshire)
Serena Vincent (Andrew Vincent; City of Portsmouth)
Erin Wallace (Andy Young; Giffnock North)
Joshua Zeller (Adrian Brown; Bracknell) **
Paralympic Futures Academy
Fabienne André (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy)
Hetti Bartlett (Denis Costello; City of Norwich)
Victoria Baskett (Katie Jones; University of Sheffield)
Columba Blango (Chris Zah; Shaftesbury Barnet)
John Bridge (Darrell Maynard; Cardiff)
Lydia Church (Jim Edwards; Peterborough & Nene Valley) *
Ed Clifton (Mike Wood; British Wheelchair Athletics Association)
James Freeman (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy)
Bethan Griffiths (Shelley Holroyd; Cheltenham)
Bulbul Hussain (Steve Peaty; Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets)
Ethan Kirby (Nick Harris; Newton Abbot)
Owen Miller (Steven Doig; Fife) *
India Oates (Darlington)
Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker (Leon Baptiste; Newham & Essex Beagles)
Ross Paterson (John Kinder / Alasdair Barker; Red Star)
Jade Smith (Matthew Crehan; St Helens Sutton)
Kirsty Soutar (Gary Beggan; Red Star)
Steven Stone (Laurence Bissett; Falkirk)
Danny Sidbury (Christine Parsloe; Sutton & District)
Kirsty Taylor (Joe McDonnell / Morgan Jones; DSW Para Academy)
Alexander Thomson (Chris Baillie; Whitemoss)
Harrison Walsh (Nathan Stephens; Swansea) *
Owen Williams (Anthony Hughes; Disability Sport Wales)
Melanie Woods (Self / John Owens; Red Star)
* Athletes marked with an asterisk are on both the Paralympic Futures and World Class Programme. They can be fast-tracked onto the WCP but are far less experienced in other aspects of sport. It is therefore compulsory for the athletes to go through the Futures Programme for the education and experience to ensure they are better prepared for international competition.
**Athletes marked with a double asterisk are part of the NCAA and will be accessing a reduced programme due to regulations. The programme will develop relationships with their coaches and provide support when back in the UK in preparation for major championships.