Teenage shooting star James Dedman has been backed by Team GB for medal success.

Though still only 15, James has been fast-tracked onto a special programme aimed at developing talented young sportsmen and women.

James, of Upper Hopton, Mirfield, has been chosen as one of 40 across the country to join the Talented Athletes Scholarship Scheme (TASS).

Run by SportsAid, it is a Government-funded scheme aimed at young athletes still in education.

It works with schools and colleges to ensure young athletes receive all the help and support they need to fulfil their potential.

James, who attends Silcoates School in Wakefield, is already a shotgun champion, regularly beating the senior men.

His target is a gold medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016 and mum Julie said joining TASS had been a huge boost.

“His shooting is improving constantly and he is pushing and pushing all the time,” she said.

“The TASS scheme only picks 40 young people a year to join the programme and James is the only one doing shotgun. He has been identified as a potential Olympian.”

James, who now has his Team GB tracksuit, is allowed out of school on Wednesday afternoons for shooting practice at a club in Beverley, East Yorkshire, and also shoots on Saturdays and most Sundays.

In all he practises for up to 30 hours a week.

The TASS scheme also offers access to experts in training, fitness, nutrition and sports psychology.

James already has one of the best coaches in the business in London Olympics gold medallist Peter Wilson.

Olympic shotgun hopeful James Dedman of Hopton joins Sport England talented athlete programme.
Olympic shotgun hopeful James Dedman of Hopton joins Sport England talented athlete programme.
 

The Examiner reported last year how James and Peter were detained at Lima Airport on their way to the sport’s World Championships in Peru by customs officers who saw their guns and thought they were whale-hunters.

Last week James entered the Yorkshire championships at Beverley and had a clean sweep.

Though still a colt (up to 16) he beat the juniors (16-21) and the seniors (21 and over).

James has qualified for a World Cup competition, of which there are four per year.

He beat all the senior British men in Peru last year and Julie said: “He is one of the youngest ever to do this and he is still only 15. We are very proud of him.”

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