A sports-mad teenager from Brotton, is going for gold at the English School National Championships in Birmingham, with backing from local law firm, Cygnet Law.
James Hughes, 14, qualified for the national competition after finishing third in the 800 meters at a recent schools’ competition with a time 2mins 4sec. He has previously competed in the cross-country championships and this is the first time he has qualified for the athletics competitions.
James was bitten by the running bug when he was at primary school and was very successful at cross-country and track events, taking home many medals.
At age 11, he joined Middlesbrough Mandle AC, and was a member for two years, ranking as one of the top 4 in the country for the 800 meters. He was also a keen parkrunner, and frequently left the adults in the dust with a 5k personal best time of 18.17.
James took a hiatus from running to focus on boxing, where he hopes to qualify for the English Championship this year, and football as a player for the Saltburn Falcons.
It will cost James and his mother, Karen, £500 to attend the competition, and Cygnet Law has sponsored him £250 towards the travel and hotel charges. Karen works with Wendy Medd, the wife of the firm’s director and solicitor, Peter Medd.
Peter Medd said: “Cygnet Law prides itself on being at the heart of the Redcar and East Cleveland community, we will support or donate to local causes when possible. We are delighted to be able to help James with funding towards attending the English School National Championships, and we know he will make us all proud.
“It is important for local businesses like us to encourage and nurture local talent to create a fantastic reputation and legacy that Redcar deserves.”
James Hughes said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to Cygnet Law for sponsoring me to get to the National Championships. My mum is very supportive, but I understand how expensive it is and I’m so happy some of that cost has been covered. Now I just have to do well in the competition!”
You can sponsor James via his GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/young-local-athlete
Cleveland Schools Athletics Association relies on voluntary support, donations and one annual grant. To support the team, contact Darren Bunn on firstname.lastname@example.org.