GB S14 Para swimmer Jordan Catchpole from Beccles has been revealed as one of three talented young athletes from Norfolk and Suffolk to receive £5,000 of funding.
Harrod Sport are proud to champion young local talent and have created the Ron Harrod Foundation to support promising local athletes, aged under 25, who face challenges funding their sporting career.
Jordan dropped out of school on medical grounds at the age of 14, having been diagnosed with autism and significant learning difficulties, but has gone on to dedicate all his time to swimming with great success. He trains at City of Norwich Swimming Club and is currently ranked as world No. 2 in 100m backstroke.
His accolades to date include winning gold in the 100m backstroke for the GB team at the Japan Open Para Championship and silver medals in both 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle in the para-swimming European Championships in Dublin.
Tony Bush of Active Suffolk describes Jordan as “an excellent swimmer with an established track record. He has the potential to make the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and this funding could make the difference.”
Jordan is surprised and proud to have received the funding: “I haven’t had time to celebrate yet because I’m in heavy training at the moment – but I will! It feels good to be recognised and believed in. It makes all the hard work seem even more worthwhile.
“My main aim in 2019 is to qualify for this year’s World Championships in April and compete in September… I am targeting the podium again.”
Jordan was nominated by Peter Brierly, who explains the value of financial support for young athletes: “Initiatives like the Ron Harrod Foundation are vital for young athletes, mainly because there is always that gap, where you are competing against athletes who are on top-level funding. To catch up with them and gain that level of funding means spending a similar amount of money, which most families struggle to cope with. Help like this can help level playing field.”
How the winners were chosen
Harrod Sport invited nominations from the public in autumn 2018. These athletes were shortlisted by a judging panel including Tony Bush from Active Suffolk and Jack Herbert, P.E. Teacher at Pakefield Primary, with the winning athletes selected and announced by Anthony Agogo.
Kevin Utton, Director of Sports Sales & Marketing at Harrod Sport explains that: “Our judges simply couldn’t choose between all of the talent, so we are delighted to announce that we have three winners who will each share the pot and receive funding this year.”
The winner’s stories can be read here.
About Harrod Sport
Harrod Sport began in 1954, when founder Ron Harrod invested £300 and started to convert old herring nets into sports and gardening netting in a factory in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Ron Harrod is a pioneer in goal post safety and became a co-founding member of the European Standards Committee (CEN Standards) in 1989. His son Chris Harrod (Chief Executive) currently represents the U.K. on the committee.
Ron Harrod, now 87, retired in 2005, but his children – Chris and Stephanie – ensure his legacy lives on, both in a business sense and with the ethos Ron maintained throughout the years that the ‘customer is king’.
In 2017, the company changed its name from Harrod UK to Harrod Sport.