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Her Aim is Rio - Restaurant Helps Sports Star Towards Brazilian Ambition
Luxury Indian restaurant presents cheque to rising sports star who has her sights set on Brazil in 2016
Rising star Grace has her sights set on competing at the next Olympic Games in the Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The 16-year-old, of Whickham, Tyneside, is being supported by the charity SportsAid in her bid break into the professional tennis circuit.
And the young hopeful – who has been ranked as high as 13th in Europe – is also being helped by one of the region’s leading restaurants, Raval, in Gateshead.
Raval’s diners raised £500 for Grace after teaming up with SportsAid for a campaign that saw the luxury restaurant’s customers tucking in to meals laced with genuine gold and silver during the Olympic fortnight.
Rather than simply presenting a cheque to Grace, the restaurant brought a touch of glamour to the occasion with the help of South Shields-based community theatre organisation The Creative Seed . . .by enlisting the services of 17-year-old carnival queen Kye Harris.
Grace, who has just received her A-level results, said: “All of my friends have been out celebrating, but I have to stick to a strict training regime.
“So although I got A-stars, As and Bs, I’ve had to miss out on partying. But it makes the sacrifice all worthwhile when I get this sort of support.
“Without funding, I couldn’t even dream of being part of Team GB at the next Olympics.”
Kye’s mum and Creative Seed co-owner Sandy Harris, a former wardrobe supervisor for the West End musical Starlight Express, said: “We were thrilled come to Raval to support Grace. We wish her every success for the future.”
Raval manager Avi Malik added: “The Olympics showed the importance of nurturing and developing young talent.
“We wanted to do play our part by supporting a rising star in the north, and they don’t come more deserving than Grace.
“She is incredibly dedicated and we will be watching her career with interest.”