A Leicester charity scheme has helped four more young people on the path to reaching their sporting goals in 2021. The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT) has presented Lotta Mansfield, Finn Mansfield, Charlotte Allen, and Mytchel Briars with the Inspire Award. This came in the form of a monetary grant to be used to purchase sporting equipment and services.
So far, the Trust has awarded 214 grants to young people. These grants total £37,646. The JHMT set up the scheme in memory of Joe Humphries, who sadly passed away due to sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) in October 2012, whilst out jogging near his home in Rothley. He was just 14 years old. This group of genetic heart conditions can strike without any warning, in seemingly fit and healthy children and young adults.
Since Joe’s death, his family and friends formed the JHMT to campaign for a better understanding and to promote awareness of SADS. They strive for more CPR training and defibrillators. They also set up the Inspire Awards small grants scheme, to help young people aged 13-21 from Leicester and Leicestershire.
The four that have recently received this grant are looking forward to competing in their chosen sports following the enduring impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the UK’s sporting calendar.
Mytchel Briars, 16, from Ratby, first started playing tennis when he was only 5 years old. He has not stopped playing since. He has played in club league teams in every age group from under 8s to under 18s. He now plays for the men’s 1st team. He wants to become a tennis coach after being inspired by his own coach. The enthusiasm he witnessed whilst being taught how to play has made Mytchel want to pass on that knowledge and passion to others. Firstly, he has to pass the LTA Level 1 Tennis Coaching Course which his grant will help pay for.
Mytchel said: “My Inspire award grant of £175 means everything to me as I can now take the first step to becoming a full-time tennis coach, which is something I have dreamed of doing since I started playing tennis at the age of 5.”
18 years old Lotta Mansfield from Wymeswold is an international level cyclist who races Cyclocross, Road and MTB. Her passion for racing started in 2008, when she took part in her first race, and she has been racing ever since. She currently races for Cero/Cycle Division.
During the 2020-21 cyclocross season, she was selected to represent Great Britain at the first ever Junior Women’s Cyclocross World Cup in Tabor, Czech Republic, where she came 21st. Having been selected to represent Great Britain for the European Championships and the World Cup in Namur, Belgium, both competitions were cancelled due to Covid restrictions. She got an award grant of £250, and says the funds will help towards buying a new bike and wheels.
Charlotte Allen, also 18 years old, is using her £200 grant to improve her netball abilities and help her in future competitions. She is currently studying sport science at Loughborough College. She is a member of both the Wasps Netball Academy and Loughborough College Netball Academy, and also plays for her club Northants Storm.
Charlotte said: “With the support of a JHMT Inspire grant of £200, I will be able to continue achieving my goals. This will help me take part in coaching courses, attend netball camps and obtain a gym membership to focus on getting my body stronger and fitter in order for me to compete at a higher level this season and in trials in the summer.”
Finn Mansfield is 19 years old and from Wymeswold. He is currently studying Medical Microbiology at the University of Bristol. In addition to his studies, Finn has been racing bikes for nearly 10 years, starting with racing cyclocross then racing road and MTB.
In 2020, he took a gap year to race cyclocross full time in Belgium. He spent 3 months racing the pro cyclocross circuit in Belgium and the Netherlands, training and racing as a professional.
Finn said: “Now that I’ve left home, I’ve discovered how expensive cycling is! Bike maintenance really stretches the student budget but my JHMT Inspire grant of £250 will help me keep my bikes in good working order so that I can train and race at the highest level.”
Simon Taylor, Inspire Awards lead for the JHMT, said: After an extended period where our young people have had to limit their aspirations and endeavours, it is great to see once more some terrific talent expressing itself. Through Inspire, we are here to assist and encourage more of that.”
Visit www.jhmt.org.uk to find out more about JHMT and the Inspire Awards.