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introducing: lucker & leach

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Dan Lucker
Lucker offered financial support by UKA sponsor


2 June 2009

Paralympic hopeful Daniel Lucker promised to repay the faith shown in him by UK Athletics and return from the IWAS Junior World Championships with a gold-laden haul.

The 16-year-old had a double cause for celebration when he was selected as one of 15 promising athletes to receive funding from the UK Athletics Heroes Project, supported by Original Source, before picking up the up-and-coming disability athlete award from the British Athletics Supporters Association.

And Lucker – who is primarily a middle distance racer – is determined to maintain that winning feeling when he heads to Switzerland in July.

He said: “It’s great that people have started to notice me,” said Lucker.

“To win the supporters award was great. People like Ian Jones and Katrina Hart have won that in the past and gone on to bigger and better things so it’s up to me to do the same.

 “I’ve gone up an age group to the under-18s so I will be one of the youngest but that doesn’t bother me – I still think I can bring some gold medals home with me.

“2012 is the main aim for me and if I keep working as hard as I am at the moment then I should be OK for that, which would be amazing.”

Jessica Leach
Leach is offered place for second year running


Another athlete enrolled on the initiative whose keeping one eye on London 2012 is high jumper Jessica Leach.

The Stourbridge ace was part of the initial scheme last year and has been reselected meaning she will receive two £500 bursaries towards kit, travel expenses, medical support and equipment during the summer.

And 22-year-old Leach, who has been dogged by a stress fracture this season, admits the award is a timely boost from her injury woes.

“It’s nice to know they are giving me another chance, because I did have an injury towards the end of the season and had a screw taken out of my foot following a stress fracture I sustained,” she added.

“I didn’t do much jumping so it’s nice for them to choose me again this year. It’s nice for them to come back and it’s more impressive this year.