A YOUNG Taunton javelin thrower has been given added encouragement to fulfil her ambitions after receiving funding from a Somerset sports charity.

Laurie Dawkins, 15, is one of four aspiring athletes from across the country to receive funding from TS5C.

Dawkins, who has just won the Somerset championships with a throw of 39.42m, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded funding from TS5C. “It’s wonderful to know that people believe in me and this has given me further encouragement to fulfil my dreams.”

Another youngster set to benefit is 13-year-old Jack Baker, from Sampford Arundel.

Jack is the only registered disability swimmer at the Taunton Deane Club, but this never holds him back, and he is working as part of the ‘Comp 1’ training squad, putting in well over 20,000 metres of training each week. The funding will help with his essential travel and training costs.

At the beginning of what could potentially be a great disability swimming career, Jack recently qualified for the British Para International Meet and swam in the Summer Commonwealth Games pool in Glasgow. He said: “I was nervous because it was the first time I had swum in a 50m pool for a competition.” But, nervous or not, Jack reached his personal best in most races and made it into the Youth finals. He called it ‘an amazing experience’.

Alan Gloak, the Chairman of TS5C, said: “It’s always difficult to select who we can assist.

“In an ideal world we would provide support for all the young athletes who come to us. But we are not funded directly by Government or Local Authority contributions and instead rely on private donations so we have to stretch our funds accordingly. “We have to look for that extra spark, and in this instance, these four young people really stood out in their chosen field. “We just hope that we can play a small part in helping them to reach their sporting potential.”

TS5C is a charity funded entirely by voluntary contributions. To find out more contact Alan Gloak at a.gloak@btinternet.com or via www.ts5c.org