Great Kingshill teenager Ilse Owen, who competes in Para-Equestrian events, has been selected for SportsAid funding, following in the footsteps of the likes of Mo Farah CBE and Ellie Simmonds OBE.
Owen, 15, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is one of 50 athletes chosen from more than 60 sports to receive financial assistance of £1,000 for 2017, funded by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in partnership with SportsAid.
The Misbourne School pupil, who trains at leading equine facility Sacha Hamilton Equestrian Center in south Bucks, was singled out by the British Equestrian Federation to join the funding and mentoring scheme after a promising junior career, including winning the RDA National Championships.
Speaking at the Athlete Welcome Reception at RBC’s Riverbank House offices, the talented youth said: “I really appreciate the help from SportsAid and the Royal Bank of Canada. Equestrianism is a really expensive sport, a saddle alone costs a lot of money.”
Originally inspired to take up the sport by the British success stories at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Owen is now determined to follow in the footsteps of her hero, eight times Olympic gold medallist, Sophie Christiansen.
Owen added: “I first started at the age of 10 or 11 years old, around the time of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“One of my coaches at the time was the coach for Sophie Christiansen, who won three gold medals and broke records, which was such an amazing experience for me.”