London Marathon Events to offer funding to 29 British endurance athletes for 2021
London Marathon Events (LME) has today confirmed it will continue to offer funding to 29 of Britain’s leading endurance athletes for 2021 as part of its commitment to support distance running from playground to podium.
Among the athletes on the funding list is the new European Indoor Championships 3000m gold medallist Amy-Eloise Markovc (Wakefield AC), Verity Ockenden (Swansea Harriers), who took bronze in the same race, and Marc Scott (Cambridge & Coleridge AC) who ran the second fastest 10,000m time in history by a British man (27:10:41) in California, USA, last month.
This is the third year LME has offered direct support to athletes who sit just outside British Athletics’ World Class programmes and Futures Academy programme but who still have the potential to star at major competitions. It is part of a pathway of LME support to British running that ranges from playground to podium, including:
- The Daily Mile: inspiring activity in primary schools by supporting the delivery of The Daily Mile programme - which encourages pupils to take part in at least 15 minutes of activity a day - across schools in London
- Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon: in 2020, more than 110,000 pupils took part in the first virtual edition of the 2.6-mile challenge
- Talent Development Hubs: the support of two training hubs at the University of Birmingham and Leeds Beckett University aimed at providing bases for the country’s most promising young athletes
- Elite athlete funding: funding programme for British endurance runners not currently on British Athletics support programmes
The impact of this funded pathway is already showing results, as seen at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships over the weekend.
Medallists Markovc and Ockenden are both on the current elite athlete funding programme while two graduates from the programme (Piers Copeland and Neil Gourley) both made the 1500m final.
Meanwhile, four athletes from the talent hubs were competing at the European Indoor Championships, led by Keely Hodgkinson (Leigh AC) who won an incredible gold medal in the 800m aged just 19 years old. Other members of the training hubs competing at the championships included 800m finalist Isabelle Boffey (Enfield & Haringey), 3000m finalist Amelia Quirk (Bracknell AC) and Phil Sesemann (Leeds City AC).
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “Since the London Marathon was founded in 1981, we have worked to improve endurance running in this country. We are committed to providing a pathway from the playground to the podium for athletes in this country, from The Daily Mile to our elite athlete funding programme and it is really encouraging that the Great Britain team at the European Indoor Championships included so many athletes who have been or are part of the London Marathon Events funding system.
“It was wonderful to see Amy-Eloise Markovc, one of our funded athletes, and Keely Hodgkinson, supported by one of the talent hubs, win gold medals over the weekend and we will continue to work to support the success of future British international athletes.”
All athletes who were on the 2020 programme have been offered funding for 2021, with the exception of Copeland and Jake Smith who have both graduated to British Athletics’ Futures Academy programme.
There has been on addition to the funding list for 2021 with Sam Atkin (Lincoln Wellington), who ran the fifth-fastest 10,000m time by a British male (27:26:58) last December, securing an Olympic qualifying time in the process.
The athletes were shortlisted by a panel of British Athletics and LME endurance experts and range from middle-distance runners to marathon specialists. No athlete currently funded through British Athletics funding programmes is eligible to receive LME individual funding.
Smith (Cardiff AAC) became the third fastest British male of all time over the half marathon distance last October when he ran 60:31 at the World Half Marathon Championships in Poland while Copeland (Wimborne AC) was the fastest British under-23 man over 1500m (3:35:32).
Brasher said: “Last year was an incredibly difficult year for everyone, including our elite athletes. With the lack of races and the difficulties they faced in accessing both training and support facilities, we believe it is right and fair that those who were on last year’s programme have the same opportunity in 2021.
“Even with all the challenges of last year, athletes on our funding programme had an extremely successful 2020 winning a total of 13 British Athletics championships medals and that has continued into 2021 with. Marc Scott’s phenomenal run in California last month and the strong representation at the European Indoor Championships.
“This shows that our plan to provide a bridge to British Athletics’ funding is working and we hope the class of 2021 continue that progression and we see as many of them as possible competing in the Tokyo Olympic Games.”
The full list of athletes to be offered London Marathon Events funding for 2021 is:
- Mohamud Aadan (Thames Valley Harriers)
- Charlotte Arter (Cardiff AAC)
- Sam Atkin (Lincoln Wellington)
- Alexandra Bell (Pudsley & Bramley AC)
- Elizabeth Bird (Shaftesbury Barnet AC)
- Emile Cairess (Leeds City AC)
- Hayley Carruthers (Birchfield Harriers)
- Rosie Clarke (Epsom & Ewell AC)
- Natasha Cockram (Micky Morris Racing Team)
- Jamaine Coleman (Preston Harriers)
- Ben Connor (Derby AC)
- Stephanie Davis (Clapham Chasers)
- Nick Goolab (Belgrave Harriers)
- Derek Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC)
- Jake Heyward (Cardiff AAC)
- Sarah Inglis (Lothian Running Club)
- Tish Jones (Belgrave Harriers)
- Matt Leach (Bedford & County AC)
- Amy-Eloise Markovc (Wakefield District Harriers)
- Jonny Mellor (Liverpool Harriers)
- Jennifer Nesbitt (Cardiff AAC)
- Verity Ockenden (Swansea Harriers)
- Chris O’Hare (Edinburgh AC)
- Lily Partridge (Birchfield Harriers)
- Marc Scott (Cambridge & Coleridge AC)
- Zak Seddon (Bracknell AC)
- Jenny Spink (Bristol & West AC)
- Chris Thompson (Aldershot, Farnham & District)
- Alice Wright (Worcester AC)