Olympic sailor receives support from Lewes District Council

A YOUNG Olympic sailor from Seaford is set to receive support from Lewes District Council as he prepares for the 2012 games.

Alex Mills-Barton, 20, who is a local laser class sailor, was awarded a place in the Team GBR Olympic Development Squad in his bid to represent the country in the upcoming Olympic games. Now Lewes District Council bosses say they will support Alex’s efforts as he gears up for the games and say it’s the start of a planned programme to get behind Olympians from the district.

Thrilled Alex said: “It has taken me several years of hard work to get into the Olympic system and I am now beginning to get success on the international stage.

“It’s great to eventually have some recognition from Lewes District Council.

“Sailing is one of our country’s most successful sports but gets very little coverage in Sussex, even though we have some of the best sailing waters in the country.

“I am hoping my recent success will attract local sponsors to help me really push on and compete for my country in 2012.”

Councillor Tony Nicholson, leader of Lewes District Council said: “The games will be a huge opportunity to showcase the best sailing talent that Seaford has to offer.

“I recently visited Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club to see first hand the hard work and training that Alex Mills-Barton, a local resident and talented sailor is putting in to achieve selection.

“We congratulate him in his efforts for selection and wish him every success.”

Sharon Davy, cabinet member at Lewes District Council said: “I also give my enthusiastic support to Alex Mills-Barton and take this opportunity to say that Lewes District Council sees this as the start of a planned programme to get behind local Olympians from the district.

“We are proud of the achievements Alex has made. He has won the European Championship (The Laser) and won the Silver medal in the World Junior Championship.

“It is fantastic that Alex is in the Olympic Development Squad and we are looking for further opportunities for us to engage in the games in a way that is distinctive and unique to our local area.”

Sadie Mason, chief executive of Active Sussex, which is a charity, funded by the government to co-ordinate and facilitate the delivery of sport and physical activity initiative across the county, said Alex was a ‘role model’ for future sports men and women.

She said: “Alex is a perfect role model to inspire a new generation of sportsmen and women, whether their aim is to achieve a gold medal or simply keep fit and have fun.

“A young Seaford man whose talent was nurtured at his local sports club, Alex now has an opportunity to shine on the biggest stage of all. We wish him every success and welcome Lewes District Council’s move to celebrate our sporting stars in the run-up to London 2012.”

 A laser is a men’s Olympic class dinghy. Alex had been in the RYA Team GBR junior and youth system for the past six years.