Year 10 Plymouth Studio School student, Rhys Roffey, has been given a fighting chance to join the next generation of athletes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and to follow in the  footsteps of Taekwondo gold medallist, Jade Jones.

Fourteen year old Rhys, who joined the school’s High Performance Sports Programme in September 2016, has been selected to join the GB Taekwondo Talent Programme for the 2020/2024 Olympics.

Rhys, who has been training with South Coast Martial Arts since he was five, will attend 3 probationary sessions in Manchester over the coming months as part of the Talent Programme.

The programme is designed to develop athletes for World class, Senior European and Olympic performance and to enter the GB Academy.

The news coincides with confirmation for GB Taekwondo that it will continue to receive funding from Sport England for its Talent Programme until April 2021.  The new programme will have an added focus on developing 13- 18 years olds and on individual athlete development

Head of Sports Performance at Plymouth Studio School, Jon Rhodes comments, ““We’re extremely proud of Rhys and this great start to 2017 for him.

“Rhys is a prime example of the need for early development and focus on the individual athlete when it comes to creating Olympic champions for the future.

“We’re delighted to be supporting him through our unique Sports Performance Programme which offers young athletes from Year 10 an individual programme of a sports performance training and monitoring within the school timetable, ensuring that they can keep in peak condition for their particular sport without sacrificing their school work.

“It’s this approach which will be key in helping us to create the next generation of Olympic athletes for the City.”

Rhys started his Olympic dream at the age of 4 when he began training with South Coast Martial Arts, going on to compete nationally at the age of 10.  He began training with the UK ITF Team at the age of 12 and current titles include English, National and UK Champion in the under 16’s sparring.

He also recently took silver in the under 16’s patterns and bronze in the under 18’s sparring at the ITF World Championships in Brighton.

Rhys comments, “I went for the assessment in October but wasn’t sure what would happen. I was so excited when we received the letter saying I’d been successful and am through to the next stage of selection, it’s an amazing opportunity and one I’ve been working towards since I was four.

”It’s great being able to incorporate my training into the school day and to combine it with my GCSEs, whilst still being able to follow my Olympic dreams.”

Other Plymouth Studio School students with their eyes firmly on the next Olympics include Modern Pentathlete Kay Bryson, Diver Matt Dixon and Women’s Rugby player, Lizzy Cole, all of whom have already trained at Team GB level within their age groups.

Year 10 & 12 places for students for September 2017 are available for students with sporting ambitions or who want to pursue a career in sport.  To book an individual tour and meeting visit www.plymouthstudioschool.co.uk or email info@plymouthstudioschool.co.uk