WORCESTERSHIRE athlete Ali Brown is aiming for a European podium finish in Spain with the help of a sporting grant.

Sport Worcester and Freedom Leisure, in partnership with Worcester City Council, awarded more than £3,000 in grant funding to 15 local athletes and clubs last year.

Brown is using this support to head to the European Age-Group Duathlon Championships at Punta Umbria on Sunday with the help of a professional coach.

He has been competing in long-distance endurance events for six years.

Brown, of Offenham, near Evesham, said: “The Worcester sporting grant allowed me some breathing space by supporting me with coaching fees.

"This is really helpful as I am unsupported as an athlete and have to be smart to balance work, training and the affordability of an expensive sport.

“Since working with a professional coach I have gone from a middle-of-the-pack finisher to a podium contender.

“I am very committed so I believe where there is a will there is a way.

"I will be aiming for a podium finish at the European Championships.”

Brown also teaches swimming and triathlon lessons to children aged eight and above at Worcester’s Perdiswell Leisure Centre.

Sport Worcester and Freedom Leisure will open up another round of grants later this year for clubs and athletes to apply for funding support.

For more information visit freedom-leisure.co.uk/grants or contact Matt Rogers at Freedom Leisure on 07710 708868.