Warrington born Johnathan Akinyemi (Johny) is currently in training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, representing Nigeria. Johny’s competitive nature and passion for the great outdoors meant that the more conventional sports quite literally didn’t ‘rock his boat’, so at an early age he persuaded his parents to buy him a canoe as a reward for doing well in his exams, leading him to his passion of slalom canoeing.
After representing Great Britain at international level Johny switched to competing for a place in the Nigerian Olympic team - the birth place of his grandfather Samuel Emanuel Akinyemi - which he secured in November 2015 after winning the African Championships.
As an ex-employee of Active Cheshire, Johny is supporting the launch of the Active Cheshire ‘Road to Rio’ elite athlete scholarship programme, providing the opportunity for young athletes like him to apply for funding to support their sport’s training, purchase kit or cover travel expenses. £3,000 of investment is available to support 12 rising stars with a one off grant of £250, boosting Cheshire’s future sporting heroes.
Johny Akinyemi says “I know only too well the cost of training when aiming high within your sport. Travelling to Bala in north Wales to train on the manmade slalom course, for up to 4 hours in a day is certainly a costly business for me, so I’m delighted to be supporting the launch of this scholarship programme to support young people like me in their aim to succeed at their chosen sport.”
Anne Boyd CEO of Active Cheshire said “as a strategic commissioner of sport and physical activity within the Cheshire & Warrington subregion we invest over £500,000 per annum in projects and interventions enabling people to get active and achieve great things within a sporting arena. We would welcome applications from young up-and-coming elite athletes from disadvantaged communities who would really benefit from a one-off payment of £250. It’s particularly appropriate in an Olympic year to be launching the ‘Road to Rio’ scholarship programme that invests in our young people of today, hopefully creating the future stars of tomorrow”.
Deadline for applications is 5.00pm, Monday 29th February 2016
To apply for the ‘Road to Rio’ elite athlete scholarship programme please download an application form or contact Active Cheshire for more information on 01606 330 212