9 Nov 2007

US athletics superstar Michael Johnson has presented four promising Welsh athletes with special scholarships from S4C.

David Guest of Bridgend, Non Stanford of Penllergaer, Swansea and Brigid Eades of Llandevaud in Gwent received the awards from the five times Olympic gold medal winner at S4C’s 2007 Sports Lecture and Dinner, at which Michael was guest speaker. Lianne Clarke of Cowbridge, who was unable to attend the event, has also won a scholarship.

Michael Johnson with S4C scholars web edit

The scholarships, which form part of S4C’s commitment to sport, will pay for specialist coaching to help the four youngsters, aged between 15 and 20, develop their skills on the track and field.

The scholarships were developed in partnership with Welsh Athletics. They follow the launch last year of S4C’s Golf Scholarship Fund, which aims to support young talent in the field.

Michael Johnson said, "The kind of support offered by S4C is important for athlete development and as 2012 approaches it’s very important to keep some great athletes out there representing Great Britain."

Rhian Gibson, S4C’s Director of Commissioning, said, "These scholarships reinforce S4C’s commitment to sport in Wales, across a range of disciplines. We were delighted Michael Johnson was able to present the awards – his presence and words of encouragement were an inspiration to the scholarship winners and all those present."

Matt Newman, Chief Executive of Welsh Athletics, said, "These S4C scholarships represent a major boost to athletics in Wales and will certainly help the four winners achieve their potential."

Non Stanford

Born in 1989, Non’s disciplines are Cross Country and the 3000m. Non has trained at Kelly Holmes’ camp in South Africa. She is a member of the Swansea Harriers Club and is currently studying at the University of Birmingham. Non’s coach is Robert Ashwood.

Brigid Eades

Born in 1991, Brigid’s disciplines are the 300m and 400m. Bridgid has also competed at high levels in tennis, hockey, netball and lacrosse. Brigid is coached by Elwyn Jarrett, who has recently joined Welsh Athletics as National Event Coach for 200/400m.

David Guest

Born in 1991, David is a Combined Event athlete and also a talented sprint hurdler, who broke Colin Jackson's long standing schools 100m hurdle record in 2007. David is coached by his father, Mike Guest, who is also National Event Coach for Combined Events.

Lianne Clarke

Born in 1987, Lianne’s sport is the Javelin. Lianne won gold at the UK U20 Championships in 2006, and continued her development by winning gold again in the U23 age group at the UK Championships with a throw of 50.96m. Lianne is a UWIC student.