Young diving star French on the harsh realities of elite sport

·3-min read
French won the CAMO International Diving Competition in Montreal in 2019 and is now being supported by SportsAid and Aldi
French won the CAMO International Diving Competition in Montreal in 2019 and is now being supported by SportsAid and Aldi

Milo French believes most people don't understand how expensive being a young athlete can be after being hand-picked as a SportsAid, Next Generation athlete, fuelled by Aldi, writes Sportsbeat's Jonny Bray.

SportsAid supports over 1,000 young athletes each year by providing a financial award to help with training and competition costs while also delivering personal development opportunities to many athletes through workshop sessions.

Aldi are now working in partnership with SportsAid to support 20 young athletes on their journey to becoming future Olympians and Paralympians – including Moore – and helping them to eat like a champion.

French, from Verwood, is one of the country's brightest diving prospects, having won the CAMO International Diving Competition in Montreal in 2019.

But travelling the world to compete has left the 17-year-old feeling like the effort – and money – that goes into getting a young athlete around the globe for major competitions goes under the radar.

"I think a lot of people don't really understand how much effort you have to put in to being a young athlete," said French, speaking after filming a new TV advertising campaign for Aldi, who work with Team GB and ParalympicsGB on the Get Set to Eat Fresh programme, helping school children eat healthier and live an active lifestyle.

"They don't know how much you have to travel or how much time you have to take out of your life to get everything you want to get done, done.

"So I think that SportsAid really does help with that financial aspect of that, and that is really good.

"I was really happy when I found out I was getting the support because we were struggling to afford everything, so having that is like a massive bonus.

"The development and mentoring work is really useful too, it can really help you boost yourself and boost your name.

"I think it is a lot easier to get through the sport with that help."

Each year, athletes are nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports based on set criteria.

The Aldi-supported athletes will be receiving a £2,000 award through SportsAid. Aldi will also support their 20 athletes with a £25 monthly voucher, to fuel them through training, competitions and to future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

And French believes that being a SportsAid athlete is a great way to start his career.

He added: "Being here has been a pretty cool experience because it has set me up for the future when, hopefully, things like photoshoots and interviews will be happening regularly.

"It will give me an excellent opportunity to learn how things work behind the scenes and stuff and I think that is really helpful for when you grow up, become a better athlete and progress to the next stage of your career."

Aldi is the Official Supermarket Partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB and have partnered with Team GB since 2015, ParalympicsGB since 2022 and will be supporting them through to Paris 2024

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