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Sky Academy has launched its established scholarship programme to support and fund sports stars of the future across Europe for the first time.

The Sky Academy Sports Scholarship scheme is entering its third cycle of supporting young athletes and sporting protégés, but this year will expand outside of the UK and Ireland to incorporate Italy and Germany with 12 places in total.

Sky will select one promising young athlete from both Germany and Italy and provide them with financial support, a Sky mentor and developmental training, in order to help them achieve their sporting goals. Ten candidates will be selected from the UK and Ireland to receive the same support.

The new scholars will be joining a programme which has helped over 20 young sportsmen and women. Notable alumni include Olympic medallists, Katie Taylor (Gold – boxing), Louis Smith (Silver – gymnastics) and Siobhan Marie O’Connor (Silver – swimming), as well as Paralympian Mark Rohan (Gold –paracycling) and Elise Christie (World Silver medallist – speed skating).