Inspire Awards for Eliza & Elliott
Posted: Wed, 13 Apr 2016
Eliza Hart, 17, from Leicester city centre, and 20-year-old Elliott Powell, from Knighton, have gained the awards from local charity the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT).
JHMT works to increase awareness of – and reduce the instances of – sudden heart death. It was set up after the tragic death of Rothley teenager Joe Humphries,14, from sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS).
Inspire Awards are small grants of up to £500, aimed at helping young people to fulfil their ambitions in memory of Joe, who never got the chance to fulfil his.
Eliza, who has been given an award of £300, will use the money to help pursue her goal of becoming a first-class dancer.
She is currently studying for a BTEC level 3 qualification in extended dance at Addict Dance Academy in Leicester, and describes herself as "completely and totally dedicated to dance."
As well as studying, Eliza funds her ambitions through a part-time cleaning job at the dance studios, covering the costs of extra evening classes at the academy.
"I'm prepared to dedicate myself 100% to dance, but it comes at a price – it takes hours of practice and it means I have to travel all across the UK for dance workshops," says Eliza.
"My tutors have said that I project energy within my work and that I have a strong motivational role within my tutor group. I hope that my enthusiasm and joy to dance does motivate and engage others.
"My Inspire Award has helped me immensely, because I have been able to commit to more events. Attending more workshops and performances means I can broaden my experience – I still have so much to learn! I like to take every opportunity that comes my way and fulfill my potential.
"I cannot thank the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust enough for my award – it will make such a massive difference."
Elliott, a young track athlete, is benefitting from an Inspire Award of £350 to help him nurture his talent for running.
A member of the Leicester Coritanians athletics club, Elliott has already competed on the national and international stage. He's made exceptional progress in his event of 200 metres, and, through hard work and dedication, he has won the Midlands championships – setting a new competition record – as well as winning gold in the National championships.
This resulted in him getting selected to be part of the Great Britain youth athletics team for the 200m and 4 x 100m relay.
"I've represented Great Britain in Sweden at the European championships, where I won a silver medal," says Elliott. "I also represented England in the Welsh international competition, where I won gold.
"I'm very motivated and dedicated to my sport, and I hope that this passion and inspiration has had a positive impact on the younger members of my athletics club. I love to encourage and support young, up-and-coming athletes."
Elliott has achieved this while studying for a sports science degree at Loughborough College and holding down a part-time job.
"It really does mean a lot to get any kind of recognition for the work I do as an athlete," says Elliott. "This grant helped me massively in my training, which I hope will lead to greater success on the track into next season. Without the worry of finance, I can focus more on my training to be the best I can be. It also means I can travel abroad to compete this season – every contribution helps.''
Simon Taylor, Inspire Awards lead for the JHMT, said: "What strikes you about both these young people is the sheer level of hard work they put in. They are both totally focused on continuing to achieve the high goals they have set for themselves.
"Eliza's amazing levels of energy, enthusiasm and determination are truly inspirational, while Elliott's self-starting motivation and encouragement to younger athletes are an example to us all. I'm so pleased that Inspire has been able to help both these young people."
To find out more about the Inspire Awards, visit www.jhmt.org.uk/inspire