Saracens rugby player Riley tipped to be future star

PUBLISHED: 10:30 18 May 2013

Hatfield rugby player Leanne Riley

Hatfield rugby player Leanne Riley


SARACENS rugby player Leanne Riley has been recognised as a future champion by the Jaguar Academy of Sport.

The 19-year-old, who is from Hatfield, was one of 50 “Rising Stars” presented with a £2,000 bursary by Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Kelly Holmes at an awards evening host by Jaguar in London.

In addition to the bursary, Riley also started the Mentoring and Education Programme, which focuses on the emotional, physical and psychological elements of being a young athlete.

Riley is part of the England U20 and development squad, and has been capped for England at 7s at both Dubai 7s 2011 and Hong Kong 7s 2012.

And she has set her sights at becoming an Olympian in 2016.

“I would love to make 2016 Olympics because 7s will be brand new, no-one will expect anything so what a perfect way to put your name forward and stamp yourselves as the winners.”

Leanne started playing rugby at the age of 10 at school and her mum has represented Great Britain in trampolining.

RFUW player development officer Kelly Rainey said: “Leanne has been part of the England set up over the past few years starting as a of National U18 TDG, three years as an England U20s squad member and is now into her second year as part of the 7s Development Squad.

“Leanne has matured as a player over these years and now has a very good understanding of what is required to be successful at the highest level of the game.

“She trains very hard and is dedicated to being a success. She has been a strong member both programmes over the past two years.”

Tim Lawler, Chief Executive of SportsAid, which administers the bursary find on behalf of the academy, said: “SportsAid is proud to work with The Jaguar Academy of Sport to help the next generation of British sporting talent and we look forward to many more years together as the programme continues to grow.

“Success in sport takes a huge amount of dedication and commitment and the academy plays an indispensable role in nurturing this. The athletes have a lot to gain from being part of it.”

The Academy, now in its fourth year, has awarded 185 bursaries to date and by the end of 2013 will have invested £600,000 in the future of British sport.

This support has made a significant difference to the rising stars development pathway with a high proportion of athletes moving on to elite funding, and pushing for success at world-class level.

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