From the Dunmow Broadcast
Dunmow's sporting stars Chloe Rogers and Dan Bentley have been selected by Essex County Council as recipients of the Team Essex Ambassador's Awards, a funding programme which will help support potential Olympians across the county.
Twelve athletes identified as having the potential to compete at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be awarded a £6500 bursary to help with the cost of training and competing at the highest level.
Dan Bentley, 24, won Paralympic gold in the team Boccia competition in Beijing in September.
The victory brought Great Britain's first ever gold medal in the event which is similar to indoor bowls but designed for people with cerebral palsy, and he has received the backing he needs as he chases further success in 2012.
Twenty three-year-old Chloe, alongside fellow former Helena Romanes School pupil Lisa Wooding, did the town proud as they helped Great Britain to their highest Olympic finish since 1996 in Beijing.Team GB finished three places above their world ranking in sixth and Chloe is now dreaming of a medal in London.
The athletes selected come from all across the county and cover a wide spectrum of sports from hockey to 100m hurdles and disability swimming to sailing. In return for the bursary the athletes will become sporting ambassadors, expected to dedicate time to inspiring young people across the county to become involved in sport.
Cllr Stephen Castle, Essex County Council cabinet member for Economic Development, Regeneration and the 2012 Games said: "In our Essex Sporting Ambassadors we have 12 great athletes and it gives me enormous pleasure to know that Essex County Council funding could contribute to their success in London 2012.
"As equally important as the funding is the commitment the athletes are making to work with the young people in our county - to encourage them in sport and teach them about commitment and discipline."The athletes will be formally presented with their awards at a reception at The House of Lords in January.