Sarum Rotary Club have provided a full scholarship to a young athlete from Harnham to have a world-class mentor for a full year as part of a programme run by the True Athlete Project (TAP).

A member of the City of Salisbury Athletics & Running Club, Cameron Jacobs, 14, was selected from a number of young people that applied for the scholarship through Sarum Rotary Club.

The TAP mentoring programme matches young athletes from any sport or location across the globe with mentors that are current or former international-level athletes, many of whom are Olympians and Paralympians.

Mentors are trained to deliver TAP’s holistic curriculum which focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of sport and is designed to help mentees to “develop resilience and learn strategies to overcome any challenges that come their way – in sport and in life”.

Their 2021 cohort includes 68 athletes across 33 sports and 10 countries.

Sarum Rotary Club said: “Cameron’s story touched the hearts of the members of the club because he’s had to deal with so many personal difficulties and health issues in his life already, yet he showed how committed he was to running, both for pleasure and competitively.”

Salisbury Journal: Cameron Jacobs runningCameron Jacobs running

Cameron is an incredibly keen trail runner and has enjoyed competing in both cross country and track events. He has Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD and growth hormone deficiency.

The full extent of these conditions was only realised during his transition from primary to secondary school, resulting in a very difficult year for him.

Every day presents challenges for him particularly in terms of managing his ADHD, daily self-injections and navigating the world around him with autism but running has always helped him.

He doesn’t let any of this stop his drive and ambition to run at the Olympics.

Cameron said: “People think my Autism and ADHD are disabilities and barriers, but when it comes to running, I feel like they give me a superpower that enables me to just keep going.”

Andrew Longland, from Sarum Rotary Club, was part of the team that assessed the applicants.

He said: “We were astounded by the quality of applications. Cameron appeared to be the sort of young athlete that would benefit greatly from having a world-class mentor who can help him with the mental resilience needed to compete at the highest level.”

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