Outstanding young sportsmen and women were recognised at the annual Set4Success awards, held at Christ’s Hospital School on Friday, 31 January.
Twenty-four applicants representing sports ranging from football, netball and hockey to baseball, synchronised swimming and motocross received a Set4Success award, which includes a financial contribution towards coaching and expenses, as well as free use of fitness facilities, courtesy of Places Leisure.
Set4Success is a charitable organisation created by the Rotary Club of Horsham in 2010, run in partnership with representatives of Horsham District Council, schools, businesses and sports clubs. To be eligible for an S4S award, candidates must be 11 to 18 years old, live or attend school in the Horsham district and be competing at a high level. To date, the charity has supported more than 200 young people, with previous winners including hockey player Lucy Wood, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist, and golfer Marco Penge, now playing on the PGA EuroPro Tour.
Set4Success also presents an award for Outstanding Achievement, sponsored by Christ’s Hospital School. This year’s recipient is Fynn Talley, currently on a two-year apprenticeship at Brighton and Hove Albion FC. The goalkeeper has represented England at Under-16 and Under-17 level. Fynn was away with his club, so his parents attended on his behalf.
Hosting the ceremony, Mike Sutton, Deputy Head Teacher at Millais School and S4S Committee Member, paid tribute to the charity’s founder John Le Rossignol.
Mr Sutton said: “John was a big man with a big heart. We would not be sitting here without him and the 140 previous award winners would not have been recognised without his vision. One week before John passed away, last year’s Outstanding Achievement winner, Emily Orman, signed her first professional contract with Chelsea, which is John’s team. I can’t think of a more fitting way to represent his legacy to Set4Success.”
Mike Sutton also praised the young recipients for their dedication and commitment. He said: “Despite the many advancements and support available to young people today, life is faster, busier and if you want to reach the pinnacle of sport, is far more competitive and intense than it once was. There are more distractions, greater expectations and increased pressure. Those of you receiving awards should not only be proud of your achievements, but conscious of the responsibility you have in being role models to your peers. In a world obsessed with instant gratification, you are the embodiment of resilience, creativity, aspiration and a growth mind-set.”
Further motivation was provided by guest speaker and Set4Success patron, Mike Goody. As a teenager, Mike was a talented swimmer, competing at a national level until he quit to pursue a career in the Armed Forces. Serving in Afghanistan in 2008, Mike was struck by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, ultimately losing a leg. He struggled to cope mentally with the changes in his life, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, his love of swimming helped him turn his life around. Mike swam the English Channel and went on to win sixteen medals at the Invictus Games.
Set4Success can only exist through the generosity of local businesses and sponsors, including Christ’s Hospital, Horsham Rotary Club, Horsham District Council, Places Leisure, Wakefields Jewellers, AAH Magazine, Impact Specialist Finance, Kreston Reeves and Treetop Design and Print. In partnership with the Council’s Sports Development team, Set4Success organises inter-business sporting challenges throughout the year. The 2020 programme includes table tennis, archery, five-a-side football and ultimate frisbee.
For more details or to apply for a future Set4Success Award, visit: www.set4success.org or for the Set4Success Inter-Business challenges visit: www.hdsd.org.uk/Inclusive-Activities/set4success-charity-inter-business-sports-competitions