12th November 2013

Dina Asher-smith To Support Tass Tenth Birthday

12 November 2013

Celebrating its tenth birthday on November 13, the Talented Athlete Sponsorship Scheme (TASS) has provided crucial support for many of the UK’s sporting hopefuls. 

To mark the event, Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie), one of the beneficiaries from the TASS programme and World Championships 4x100m relay bronze medallist, has been invited to a special birthday reception at the Houses of Parliament on November 13.

British Athletics and TASS have enjoyed a productive partnership since 2004 and in total 142 sportspeople have been helped by TASS to the tune of an estimated £852,000. Typically support includes assistance with equipment purchase, access to physiotherapy, strength and conditioning and coaching support amongst other elements.

Asher-Smith, who became the second-youngest female athlete in history to win a medal at the World Championships, also won gold at the European Junior Championships over 200m and in the 4x100m. She was awarded TASS funding as part of British Athletics’ Futures Programme and is studying for A-levels in English, History and Biology.

She said: “TASS aided my sporting career’s development by helping to identify areas that required improvement.  These ‘weaker’ areas were spotted in the initial TASS screening and this helped my coach and I build my training plan with the aim of eradicating problems and enabling me to become the best athlete I can be.  Along with this the funding enabled me to continue having those all-important sports massages and acupuncture sessions.”

Guy Taylor, National Director of TASS said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate our tenth birthday at such a splendid location as the Houses of Parliament and hosted by Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson.  TASS began in the Autumn of 2003 when names like canoeists and London 2012 medalists Liam Heath and Jon Schofield were in the first batch of Award recipients.”

The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) helps athletes continue to develop their sporting talents whilst still in education and was set up in 2003 with the first Awards made in 2004. Since its inception the scheme has funded £30 million in support for athletes and their support network through more than 6,000 Awards.  In total 50 different sports are covered by the scheme.

In Beijing in 2008, TASS Athletes and Alumni won 19 medals (15 at the Olympics, four at the Paralympics).  Two years later at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, the only GB medalist was TASS Alumna Amy Williams, and 55 TASS supported Athletes and Alumni won 85 medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

200 TASS Athletes and Alumni competed at London 2012, 44 of them winning a medal, with 10 being multi-medalists – 15 gold, 15 silver and 27 bronze medals (33 Olympic, 24 Paralympic).

Other famous TASS Alumni include: diver Tom Daley, swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Ellie Simmonds, rowers Helen Glover and Zac Purchase and gymnast Louis Smith to name but a few.

TASS is part of SportsAid which has the Duchess of Cambridge as its new Patron.  For more information visit https://www.tass.gov.uk