TalentAid celebrates first Olympian
Earlier this year, the impact of the RMTGB’s TalentAid scheme was demonstrated when Lloyd Jones – a former beneficiary – took part in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games mixed ice dancing with his partner Pernelle Carron.
Lloyd has been ice skating since the age of five. During the first few years he had weekly coaching sessions, and by age nine he was skating six days a week and competing – and winning – nationwide.
At junior level, it became clear that Lloyd could develop his talent into a successful career; indeed, he was compared to Christopher Dean and received praise from leading figures in skating such as Robin Cousins, now a judge on ITV’s Dancing on Ice. At the age of sixteen, Lloyd took the decision to leave school and concentrate on his ice-dancing career.
His family were keen to support him, but the costs of training, equipment and travel began to increase. His grandfather, a Freemason, provided some assistance and Lloyd received limited funding from various sports and skating organisations, but it was not enough to cover his essential costs.
Lloyd began receiving support from the RMTGB in 2006, and for four years he received assistance towards coaching, skates, clothing and travel to ensure he could attend competitions and continue his career development. Once an established professional, Lloyd moved to France to partner with Pernelle and within a few years realised one of his ambitions by participating in Sochi. Lloyd said,
‘I want to thank the Trust for the support I received when I was younger. It really helped me achieve my dream of competing at the Olympic Games.’
During the past twelve years, the financial support the RMTGB has provided to young people with career ambitions in sport, music or the performing arts has enabled many to realise their potential.
All applicants enter a competitive process and undergo a financial test, with around fifty receiving support each year. Successful applicants can expect to receive contributions towards the cost of equipment, travel or coaching expenses.
For more details, go to www.rmtgb.org/talentaid