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Persent is hoping scholarship is just the boost he needs
Louis Persent is hoping a bumper scholarship will help him transform his career and boost his chances of reaching the Rio Olympics.
The 23-year-old from Braiswick is one of a dozen talented young athletes to be picked for the Sky Sports Scholarships scheme.
Over the next three years, the scholarship will see Persent receive financial and developmental support to help him flourish as an athlete.
The 400 metres runner and former World Junior silver medallist is hoping that the scholarship will be just the boost he needs, as he builds towards the Rio Games in 2016.
Persent said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and I feel very lucky to be part of it.
“To have that kind of support and faith in me is very special.
“It means that I can plan long term now and it’s a huge deal for me.
“I’m so grateful - I’ve never doubted my own potential and determination but there are times when you become very down.
“I think they’ve recognised that I’ve not had funding but I’ve still been above the level of those who have.
“I hope it will be a bit more of a level playing field now and I’ll get the support through to Rio.
“It raises my profile and it’s something to build on.
“All I’m concerned about is running well and I hope that it will transform my career.”
Persent is hoping to return to full training in the next few weeks, after undergoing surgery on his Achilles earlier this year.
The University of Cambridge graduate believes the fact that the scholarship will allow him to concentrate solely on his running will be a huge help.
“It will make it so much easier to train, because that’s been what’s caused the problems,” said the Colchester Harriers runner, who has thanked Colchester law firm Birkett Long for their support this year.
“The actual training itself won’t change massively but there will be more of an opportunity for warm weather training.
“It’ll also mean that I don’t have to rush off straight away after training - I can do my stretching and rehab and perhaps see a physio.
“I’ll carry on doing my freelance work but I won’t have to do a part-time job.”
Persent will be mentored by former Great Britain Olympic silver medallist Roger Black, as part of the scholarship scheme.
He added: “Once I’m back training, Roger Black is someone I can go to and talk about athletics.
“He will someone who is independent from a coach relationship and he’s been there and done it at the top level.”
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