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Westminster athletes win gold and silver at the Commonwealth Games

Four Westminster athletes who are supported by the Council’s Champions of the Future scheme have excelled at the latest Commonwealth Games hosted in Birmingham.

Ashley Mckenzie with his gold medal for judo at the Commonwealth Games

Ashley McKenzie celebrating his gold medal for judo at the Commonwealth Games

Published: 11 August 2022

Ashley McKenzie, who was born and brought up in Queen’s Park and learned his sport with Moberly Judo Club, regained his Commonwealth title in judo. He defeated fellow Englishman, Samuel Hall in an emphatic win to top the podium once again after an eight year wait.

Elsewhere on the track, Bianca Williams, who trains at Paddington Recreation Ground, won Silver in the women’s 4x100 relay. She and her formidable team finished ahead of the Jamaican team anchored by Elaine Thompson-Herah and just behind a Nigerian team that included sprint hurdles champion, Tobi Amusan.

Maia Bouchier also represented England in the T20 cricket coming fourth with her team, after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the Gold medal match.

Paddington’s Tin-Tin Ho (pictured below) reached the quarter-finals in table tennis for both the women’s team and mixed doubles and she has just been named Athlete of the Year at the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) awards.

Tin-Tin Ho in her England kit holding her table tennis racket.

All four athletes are supported by the Champions of the Future scheme that Westminster City Council run in partnership with EveryoneActive.

The scheme provides local rising sporting stars with access to financial support, high-quality training facilities and expert advice.

In its 11th year, it has already helped hundreds of athletes on their sporting journeys, from grassroots competitors through to Olympic and Commonwealth medallists.

In addition to bursary support, this year will see the scheme working in partnership with King’s College London to provide a range of additional benefits including lifestyle support, performance nutrition, sports psychology as well as strength conditioning.

2022 will also see the athletes visiting and working with our local primary schools to encourage regular physical activity for Westminster’s young people.

Forty-five local sporting stars are confirmed to receive support through this year’s scheme.

 Bianca Williams said:

I absolutely loved my Commonwealth experience. It being my third Commonwealth games and fourth medal made it very special as well as it being my one of the first major championships I have done since having my son. The fact that it was a home champs with a home crowd was lovely and very uplifting. I’m grateful for the continued support from the ActiveWestminster championship, allowing me to train locally and to fund my training and trips.

Councillor Tim Roca, Cabinet Member for Young People, Learning and Leisure said:

We are so proud of our Westminster athletes for their incredible achievements in the Commonwealth Games. Their performances will inspire young people across the borough to get active and involved in sport.

We are so pleased to provide ongoing support to the Champions of the Future scheme and I cannot wait to see what our next cohort achieve.