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Financial adviser backs athlete's bid for 2020 Olympics

Financial adviser backs athlete's bid for 2020 Olympics

The Money Group is helping a young athlete’s ambition become a reality by sponsoring him for the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The advice company is funding Ashley McKenzie (pictured), the number one judo athlete in the country, who previously represented Team GB in both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 games.

The company — based in Yorkshire, London, Manchester, Durham and Teesside — will take Mr McKenzie on a road trip, where he will run judo classes for local children, and have recorded a series of podcasts with the athlete to help raise awareness and funds for his sporting journey.

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Scott Thorpe, co-founder of The Money Group, said Mr McKenzie had an "amazing" story to tell and he hoped the podcasts and road trip would help give people an insight into his background.

He added: “Very little money gets filtered down to sports such as judo and it is hard for athletes to fund their commitment to sport as well as their commitment to family. 

“Hopefully we can help Ashley fulfill two of his major goals in the year ahead.”

Martin Stewart, co-founder of The Money Group, added: “We might even try and get Scott on the mat with him so if anyone wants to settle some old scores, now would be a good time to get involved.”

Mr McKenzie, from West London, had to overcome serious health issues as a child and was diagnosed with ADHD at an early age.

This meant he was often excluded from school and only found a focus in life when he came across judo by accident aged 11.

Mr McKenzie said: “I am delighted to be associated with The Money Group and proud to call them a sponsor. 

“I am a self-funded athlete and will have to make my own way to Tokyo so any financial assistance I receive along the way is greatly appreciated.” 

He added that very few people get to make one appearance at the Olympic Games, so to make three would be an incredibly proud moment for him. 

“The hard work starts now but to bring back a medal for Team GB and all those that supported me along the way will have made all the effort worthwhile.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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