Windsor teenager Conor Gough has been handpicked to follow in the footsteps of Olympic champions Justin Rose and Mo Farah after being fast-tracked on to a sporting excellence scheme.
The 14-year-old St Joseph’s College pupil was singled out by England Golf to join a mentoring scheme funded by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in partnership with SportsAid.
Picked out as a potential star of the future, the Berkshire teenager, who plays at Stoke Park Golf Club, is one of 50 athletes across a myriad of sports chosen to receive financial assistance and expert tutoring across 2017.
Gough’s cause will be helped, with RBC and SportsAid handing him an annual £1,000 award towards costs such as travel, accommodation and equipment, while he will also have access to former Olympic and Commonwealth champions for help and advice.
“It feels really good to be a part of SportsAid and Royal Bank of Canada, having them behind me will be really good, it’s going to really help me when it comes to events,” said Gough, speaking at the Athlete Welcome Reception at RBC’s Riverbank House offices on Tuesday.
“I can turn up knowing that I’m recognised, which will give me a lot of confidence to go out there and achieve what I need to achieve which is winning. That’s my main aim this year.
“Equipment is not cheap, neither is the amount of competitions I want to be playing in this year. Having SportsAid and RBC behind will help me get through everything I need to and the equipment I need also.
“When I found out I felt really good about myself, that my hard work had paid off and everything I had been doing since a young age has been recognised. I just hope to be able to carry that on with the work I’m doing in my sport.”
The long-term ambition for Gough, like every young golfer making their way in the sport, is to compete at the highest level and play in Ryder Cups and also Majors.
A busy 2017 beckons for the Windsor golfer and now he intends to turn his vast potential into silverware this season.
“I want to be there, win Majors and do what all the top pros do now,” he added.
“It’s a big achievement and I’m confident about myself this year. Only last year I was playing under-14, now I’m under-18 and hopefully I can achieve what I want to achieve.
“We went to Portugal earlier in the year for warm-weather training with the England team, and we went and put in some really hard work in ahead of the start of the season.
“My first competition is in two-and-a-half weeks, and every day I’m going to be practising hard to get my game as good as it can be.
“I’ve got the McEvoy Trophy on April 12 and 13, which really kick-starts the year and I’m looking for a really good finish in that.
“If I do that, then I can get recognised and get into the European Boys and the England manager chooses six boys for that, so that’s my aim for this year.
“I’d be the youngest to get into that and that would mean a lot – one of my best achievements ever.”
*Royal Bank of Canada, one of the largest banks in the world and Canada’s largest bank by market capitalization, partners with SportsAid to provide financial support, ongoing mentoring and deserved recognition to 50 young talented British athletes looking to fulfil their sporting ambitions. For more information, please visit http://www.rbc.com/
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