Athletics ace Kirsty Taylor is gunning for glory and preparing in the perfect way possible – by learning from two former champions.

Caldicot para-sprinter Taylor, 21, was one of five young athletes to be hand-picked to take part in a special Zoom mentoring session with former Paralympic gold medallist Danny Crates and four-time Olympian Donna Fraser.

The in-depth, 90-minute session was set up by Entain and SportsAid – who financially support Taylor’s journey – with former training partners Fraser and Crates now forming a dynamic duo delivering expert advice.

All five athletes were given the chance to ask a range of questions covering topics such as setbacks, preparation and training and Taylor, who scooped two silver medals at the 2019 World Para Athletics Junior Championships in the T42-64 100m and 200m, said: “I really enjoyed it. I think one of the things that impacted me the most was just listening to them talk about how they learn from other athletes and how learning to thrive in the environment that you're in and making the most of the team around you.

“Looking at other athletes and their drills or session, reflecting back, is that something I could use? Is that something that would benefit me? And then implementing that into training. 

“I just felt so lucky, because without SportsAid I would never have crossed paths with them and never had the opportunity to learn from them.  

“They are successful athletes and they are successful people after their sports career as well, so just to have them give up their time to encourage the next generation of athletes coming through is something I’m really grateful for.”

Taylor’s career is fuelled by Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid’s partnership that helps her access funding for training, travel and equipment.

And she was joined on the Zoom mentoring session by fellow aspiring athletes Ethan Rose, Heather Hughes, Matthew Mackay and Craig Allen, who are also supported by Entain and SportsAid’s innovative partnership.

Taylor studies at Loughborough University and competes in the long jump in addition to her speedy exploits on the track.

Ealing Times: Crates is a former world recorder holder in the 800mCrates is a former world recorder holder in the 800m

She revelled in absorbing Crates and Fraser’s eminent insight and Crates, who soared to 800m Paralympic glory at Athens 2004, said: "Your whole careers are in front of you and your eyes are wide open to the potential of your futures.

“You don't know what's coming yet or what’s out there for you - you just know what you want, and I just love that."

Former sprinter Fraser, who competed at four Olympic Games and bagged a pair of World Championship bronze medals, added: "It's always a pleasure to share our journey and learnings with the next generation of talent.

“Hopefully all the athletes who joined the call found that fruitful.

"I'm really all for supporting the next generation, encouraging them not to make the same mistakes that I made and supporting them on their journey."

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit to find out more