Young guns win BA Great Britons programme
3 September 2009
A teenage wakeboarder and Britain's number one pistol shooter have won British Airways flights to train abroad courtesy of the BA Great Britons Programme. The BA Great Britons £500,000 travel fund offers up to 180 free flights a year until 2012 to aspiring talent in fashion, sport, performing arts, innovation, community and art and design.
Victoria Young, (16) from Middlesex attracted the most votes in the public poll and will now be able to fly to Miami up to ten times to progress her wakeboarding talent.
Currently ranked third in the world in ladies' wakeboarding, Victoria said: "I am over the moon at winning these flights. This means that I will now be able to train all year round and have the same time in the water as the American and Australian girls."
The British number one pistol shooter Georgina Geikie (24) from Devon also secured flights to her chosen destination - Zurich. She said: "Shooting is a brilliant sport, but as .22 guns are outlawed in the UK, I am forced abroad to train and compete. Some people suggest training with a sport pistol as an alternative, but that's the equivalent of playing a game of tennis against Roger Federer with a badminton racquet!
"This is why these flights from British Airways are so valuable and bring me one step closer to achieving my dreams of winning an Olympic medal for my country."
Olympic medallist Denise Lewis and Founder of 'Peace One Day' Jeremy Giley considered hundreds of applications ranging from artists to athletes and community workers to fashion designers, to short-list the final eight which went to public vote.
British Airways Global Sponsorship Manager Luisa Fernandez said: "This is what the BA Great Britons Programme is all about - unearthing and supporting British talent that needs it most"
In April, 16 year-old Daniel Dolan - a ballet dancer from Widnes received tickets to fly to Moscow to train with the Bolshoi Ballet. The Combined Services Disabled Ski Team also achieved success with complimentary flights to Geneva to help them train.
With bi-monthly opportunities to secure free flights from now until 2012, there's still plenty of time to register or re-submit applications. For more information on the BA Great Britons Programme, or to apply, go to Greatbritons.ba.com.