The legacy of the much-missed coach is making an impact with some athletes at this month’s European U18 Champs benefiting from the bursary set up in his name

It will have been 32 years since Lloyd Cowan MBE represented his country in Victoria’s 1994 Commonwealth Games at the 110m hurdles. Understanding the challenges faced by all athletes, Lloyd turned his talents to coaching and achieved the pinnacle of success, guiding Christine Ohuruogo to Olympic, World and Commonwealth titles.

Lloyd tragically passed away in January 2021 after contracting COVID-19. Christine was part of a team that swiftly set up this bursary to support unfunded athletes aged 16-23. The bursary also supports coaches, the first in the country to do so.

At Neuff, we are incredibly proud to support this bursary and what it stands for. All grant recipients receive a discount code to spend at Neuff, which can help provide essential equipment for athletes and coaches.

We recently spoke to the Lloyd Cowan Bursary team, namely Christine Ohuruogu, Frank Attoh, Abdul Buhari and Melanie Anning.

How much support has the bursary received since its launch?

“We have been overwhelmed by the support received for the bursary. Lloyd Cowan, MBE, was a much-loved athlete and coach. He positively impacted many people’s lives because he was such a generous individual and freely shared his expertise, craft and support.

“Countless individuals and organisations have lent their support to the bursary. One of the main reasons is that we do not just support young athletes. We also support coaches, the unsung heroes behind all athletes.

“The athletes we help do not have to be the best in their age group; though some are, they need to be young people for whom cost is a potential barrier to fulfilling their potential at whatever level, and a small grant will make a big difference.”

Lloyd Cowan and Christine Ohuruogu (Mark Shearman)

Are there any stand-out highlights that have come from the bursary’s recipients?

“One coach cried when they received a grant and told us that in 20 years of coaching, they had never received any financial support and used their earnings and savings to enable them to fund their coaching. Another spoke about how receiving the grant was recognition and reinforced why the sacrifices they make are worth it.

“One young athlete spoke about the grant enabling them to buy much-needed kit to continue training and how this support during the pandemic had made a difference. So many athletes have set personal bests and even broken age group records, wearing spikes and kit they bought with their grant.”

Are there any upcoming significant competitions or events in which recipients will participate?

“Two of the first recipients will be competing at the European U18 Championships in Jerusalem. We cannot claim it is because of the bursary, but at their age, as costs increase to participate in their sport, every penny helps. They are Tendai Nyabadza (Andrew Ross, Harmeny) and Rebecca Grieve (Francis Smith, Pitreavie). Since receiving the bursary, Tendai improved his 1500m personal best from 4:02 to 3:47, and Rebecca has taken half a second off her 400m time.

“Coaches we have supported have had athletes competing at major championships and winning age-group titles, such as Anita Richardson, who coaches U20 Success Eduan of Sale Harriers.”

How would you like the bursary to progress in the future?

“We want the bursary to grow and for it to be able to support many more unfunded young athletes and coaches. We hope to ensure that Lloyd’s legacy lives on and we can continue honouring his goals of helping individuals develop and thrive in athletics.”

So far, the bursary has raised almost £50,000 in donations. If you want to help even more athletes to follow their dreams, please donate here.

Whatever your discipline, whatever your level, whatever your aspirations, Neuff is here to support you along the way!