Emily James

A Helping Hand from the Educational Trust

emilyRotherfield Peppard Educational Trust was set up in 1982 to help young people up to the age of 25 who live in the parish of Rotherfield Peppard.

The trustees consider applications for funding towards educational activities such as school trips, school projects, university field courses, gap year projects, specialist music courses and so on.

The following article was written by a young BMX enthusiast who applied to the Trust in 2008 for help with expenses for competing in the European Championships in Germany. This was a rather more unusual request but demonstrates the diversity of projects considered for funding. The trustees have limited funds available to them but welcome all applications from eligible young people. Contact Sylvia Overbury (01491 628245) for more information.

From Emily James:

BMX racing is a sport in which up to eight riders race around a 300-400m track with jumps and berms (banked corners). Each rider competes in three motos (heats) and the top riders will progress to the next race and eventually to the final.

I started BMX when I was four with encouragement from my dad. Since then I have competed regionally, nationally and internationally. My greatest achievements include being National Champion, British Champion and making a World Final. Thanks to Peppard Educational Trust and its generous grant, I was able to travel and compete in the European Championships in Weitenstadt, Germany in 2008. I was pleased to make the quarter finals there as it allowed me to race against world class riders and gain some experience competing in such a competitive class. Since then I have been balancing training whilst studying at university and finished fourth in the national series for 2009. After this, my aim was to podium in the nationals which I achieved as I am now ranked second in the Elite Female Class. I also competed in the World Championships in 2010 which were held in South Africa. However, I was disappointed with my result as I was close to making the final but crashed in the final round. Since then I have been training really hard as I am now determined to make the World Final this year in Copenhagen, Denmark. My improvements would not have been possible without the help of my coach (now also my fiancé) who is training hard himself to qualify to race in 2012 Olympics for Ireland.