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Disabled Bexley woman earns sports grant

PUBLISHED: 10:31 23 July 2012 | UPDATED: 10:31 23 July 2012

Former Olympians Dalton Grant (left) with Steve Backley (right) with Rebecca Cooper

Former Olympians Dalton Grant (left) with Steve Backley (right) with Rebecca Cooper

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A disabled sportswoman from Bexley was given a boost in her quest to compete in the 2016 Olympics after winning a bursary through a new initiative.

Rebecca Cooper, an 18-year-old rhythmic gymnast who goes to Bexleyheath Academy has earned £750 from London Youth Games sponsor Balfour Beatty’s 16 for 16 scheme.

She said: “It’s really good to be here with all these great people. It’s been amazing to meet the likes of Linford Christie and the other athletes.

“I love doing rhythmic gymnastics because it’s fun and I enjoy doing it. I am delighted to receive this award.”

Miss Cooper has been ranked a high as number six nationally in her discipline for gymnastics and movement for people with a disability.

Sidcup-born Steve Backley, the only British athlete to win medals at three Olympics, presented the award along with fellow former Olympians Dalton Grant and Christie at a special ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

Backley said: “As London is hosting the Games, the sporting youth will be the real legacy.

“Tonight has highlighted individual success and what you can achieve, and Rebecca should be proud of that.”

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