Runner receives £5,000 grant to help him take his next steps

Mark Fallaize, right, in action at a British Miles Club Grand Prix in Manchester
Mark Fallaize, right, in action at a British Miles Club Grand Prix in Manchester

A Vale runner is one of five sporting students to receive a scholarship to honour one of athletics’ best known and most respected coaches.

Mark Fallaize, 26, of Broughton, runs the 800m while studying Graphic Arts and Design at Leeds Metropolitan University.

He has been awarded the Wilf Paish Athletics Scholarship, a £500 bursary given to talented athletes to help them realise their full potential.

Mark said: “This scholarship will help go towards kit, vitamins and race day supplements, travel costs and entry fees to races in order to compete in higher level competition and any necessary physiotherapy treatment and medical costs.”

Mark explained that he began running at an early age. He said: “I have been a member of the Vale of Aylesbury Athletics Club since I was nine.

“Running has always been in my family – my mother Heather coaches at the club.

“It is certainly something I am looking to pursue seriously as a career and this grant that I have received will definitely help me towards those goals.”

Mark, who is in his final year of study at Leeds Met university, previously took a two-year scholarship in the United States at McNeese State university where he competed in athletics at a high level.

The grants from Leeds Met have been given in memory of Will Paish, who passed away at the start of 2010.

Paish trained more than 100 Olympic athletes including former Olympic gold medal-winning javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson.

Paish also coached Mick Hill, now an elite performance coach at the Leeds Met, who also trains athletes including London 2012 poster girl Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Hill said: “Wilf’s love of athletics was absolute, and his knowledge, enthusiasm, coaching and teaching expertise has been experienced by hundreds of thousands of athletes, coaches and teachers all over the globe either through direct contact with him or through his extensive written work.

“These scholarships are across a range of track and field disciplines and show the depth of the talent at the university.”