The Wilf Paish Athletics Scholarships have been awarded to seven talented Yorkshire based athletes to help them to realise their full potential. Top British javelin thrower Matthew Hunt, wheelchair athlete and T33 class European record holder Louis Speight, multi-eventer Daniel Gardiner and aspiring race walkers Tom Bosworth and Alex Wright are amongst those to receive the awards from Leeds Met, all of whom are hoping for success in 2012.
Up and coming 400m hurdler, Sophie Wood and 16-year-old 800m runner Jordan Bransberg have also been awarded the prestigious scholarship as they hope to continue to develop their talents.
Yorkshire-based Paish was coach of javelin aces Tessa Sanderson and Mick Hill, with more than 100 of the athletes who came under his guidance becoming Olympians.
Speaking about the scholarships, Mick Hill, who now works as an elite performance coach at Leeds Met and is managing the scholarship programme said: "I met Wilf 31 years ago when I came to join in a training session with his Yorkshire and Humberside Athletics Squad in Leeds. His love of athletics was absolute and his knowledge, enthusiasm, coaching and teaching expertise has been experienced by hundreds of thousands of athletes, coaches and teachers all over the globe either through direct contact with him or through his extensive written work. These scholarships are across a range of track and field disciplines and show the depth of talent at the University, with many of these athletes hopeful of further success in 2012."
Wilf Paish trained to be a PE teacher at Carnegie College, now part of Leeds Metropolitan University, before taking a teaching post in Essex. He then returned to Yorkshire after being appointed as National Coach for the North in the early sixties and has been an adopted Yorkshireman ever since.
His most famous coaching success was with javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson who moved to Leeds after a disappointing Olympics in 1980. Paish's original thinking and innovative coaching methods helped her to kick-start her career and she subsequently won gold at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.
Earlier in the year the Wilf Paish Scholarships Fund was launched, enabling Leeds Metropolitan University to support talented athletes and coaches to help them through their university studies so that they may realise their full potential.
In October, two academic scholarships were awarded to Stephen Potter and Robbie Hill, who are both studying for a Masters degree in Sport Coaching at the University.