A SIXTH former at an Oxford school has been selected for a prestigious canoeing programme to prepare her for the chance to compete in the Olympic Games.

Enya Dale, 17, an A-Level student at St Gregory the Great School in East Oxford, has been selected for British Canoeing’s UK Sport World Class Performance Programme for 2019.

This means she will receive funding and coaching support to develop her potential to compete for Britain in the Olympic Games in 2020.

Enya is a member of the Falcon Rowing and Canoeing Club next to the river at Donnington Bridge and is this year celebrating its 150th anniversary.

She started kayaking at the age of 12 and has come through the club’s junior development programme.

Oxford Mail:

In 2017 Enya received the prestigious Oxfordshire junior sportswoman of the year award.

She has also raced at the Junior Europeans 2018, Junior Worlds 2018, Olympic Hopes 2016-20 18 and European Youth Olympic Festival 2017.

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Enya said: “Being selected for the programme means so much for me. Now I don’t have to worry about the costs of training camps and travelling to races which are often at venues across Europe. I will now get the world-class coaching and performance support to help me realise my dream of representing Britain the highest level.”

Oxford Mail:

Jo Bates, Falcon’s head of coaching, and former national champion, said: “Enya’s selection is well deserved. She has shown huge commitment to the sport including training at weekends and three times a week before and afterschool during the winter”.

The transition to becoming an elite athlete can become expensive for families which is why Lottery funding and the UK Sports performance programmes are so important. Club captain Nick Barnett said: “The club is so proud of Enya. Seeing young people achieve their potential raises everyone’s spirits and she’s an inspiration for our junior paddlers.”