Rising American Football star Lucy Peaty has been able to “pursue her dreams” thanks to the bursary she received from Sport Society Success Network.

Linebacker Peaty was selected to train with the Great Britain American football side ahead of the 2018 Diamond Series, after dominating at Leeds Carnegie Chargers in the Sapphire Series that same year.

Since then, the 19-year-old has been a prominent feature for the national team. Unfortunately for Lucy and teammates, the current governing body for American Football (BAFA) is low on funding, meaning each player has to pay for their own equipment, kit, travel and training.

Upon learning of her success with her SSS bursary application, Lucy quickly used the funds wisely. She said: “My teammate was the one who originally told me about the bursary, so I decided to apply.

“I’m glad I did in the end. It has really helped me. The bursary allowed me to pay for my Great Britain kit, as well as my memberships, insurance and travel to games.”

Her love for the gridiron sport developed at a young age, with her playing flag football before switching to tackle when she was just 14 years old.

In August this year, Lucy was selected to represent Great Britain at the Women’s American Football European Championships, and the SSS Bursary allowed her to take part and pursue her dreams. She said:

“I feel honoured to have represented my country at the sport I love, especially at such a young age.

“The entire experience was surreal. It was tough playing three games in one week but the team spirit and atmosphere from the crowd really made it all worth it.”

Her dedication and commitment to the sport is unrivalled, as she states how being focussed allows her to perform at the top of her game. She said:

“My preparation consists of a solid gym programme, lifting weights four times a week as well as participating in rugby for my fitness.

“If any women are interested in American football, find your local team and give it a go. Initially, it is a hard, but if you persevere you will love it because it is a great sport.”

The SSS Bursary offers a young person or team aged between 14 a helping hand in reaching their sporting potential. As the first ever recipient, Lucy was quick to recommend applying for the bursary, as she wants others to benefit from the support like she did. She said:

“The bursary is a great way to allow people to pursue their dreams, especially in niche sports that rely heavily on funding.

“The support from Mark and the team at SSS Network has been amazing. I’m grateful to have their backing.”

With aims to compete in the World Championships in 2021, taking place in Finland, and eventually captain the Great Britain side in the future, Lucy is determined to help the sport of American Football grow in the UK.