CYLCING: Amateur Joshua Cunningham has gained £250 funding from sporting charity GLL Sport Foundation to help make his dream of turning pro a reality.
This year he became the first Englishman to join The Royal Antwerp Bicycle Club and race for the Belgian team.
He spent the cycling season in Zottegem, Belgium – the hub of European racing - competing for the Belgian amateur team.
He ha achieved top 10 placings in amateur races, such as in Wetteren, and top 20 results in higher level, international competitions around Belgium.
He also gained wild card entries into professional races in Hoboken, Antwerp and Geel, where he played prominent parts in the racing – earning him a place on brand new semi-pro team 'Viasport' for 2012.
Describing himself as "an all-rounder with a fast finish", he came late to cycling for a would-be professional, after timing himself cycling to college aged 17.
Cunningham – a garden landscaper during the off-season - is hoping to raise funds so he can continue to progress as a rider and make a name for himself.
The 21-year-old's package includes training membership at K2, run by GLL, worth £500.
"This year has been a success and progression for me. I am stronger, have gained good results and played an active part in racing. I have had injuries, illnesses and crashes, but have done enough to progress to a higher level in 2012.
"I am extremely grateful for the help from the GLL Sport Foundation. It lifts a lot of weight off people's shoulders. Without gestures like this the dreams of many people like me would be broken."