MEET the talented Isle of Wight sports achievers recently announced as Red Funnel's Island Ambassadors for 2024.


Aimed at celebrating local talent, the initiative supports athletes, who each live, work and train on the Isle of Wight, as well as artists and performers, on their path to high-level success.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jiu Jitsu supremo Corey Kent.Jiu Jitsu supremo Corey Kent. (Image: Red Funnel)

The 2024 cohort showcases the diversity of talent on the Island, from the world of gymnastics to dog sled racing.

Throughout the year, Red Funnel will support the Island ambassadors by aiding their transition from local to national competition and status, with travel sponsorship.

Over the next two weeks, we look at those selected this year ...

In what was a great competition year in 2023, Corey Kent won 21 medals across various Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions.

He spread awareness around autism within sports and became the English Open Jiu Jitsu champion. 

For the year ahead, Corey looks forward to training hard and having a great competitive season. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Clint Gardner had success in badminton events last year.Clint Gardner had success in badminton events last year. (Image: Red Funnel)

Isle of Wight County Press: Liberty Lee is excelling as a young gymnast.Liberty Lee is excelling as a young gymnast. (Image: Red Funnel)

Known as 'Pixie', Clint Gardner is a talented badminton player with autism. 

Clint has already achieved gold medal status representing the South and South West, and is the current Special Olympics national champion. 

He hopes to go on to represent the UK in the world Special Olympic Games and looks forward to retaining his impressive set of titles this year.

In gymnastics, Liberty Lee has been training and competing successfully since a young age, becoming the U8 Southern Gymnastics Champion.

Now looking to win the title in the U9 age group, Liberty was recently selected for the prestigious Portsmouth Gymnastics Club as part of their Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Squad — hoping to be selected for the Hampshire squad this year.  

It is Liberty’s dream to one day compete in the Olympics.

Isle of Wight County Press: Pro-golfer Josh Oddy.Pro-golfer Josh Oddy. (Image: Red Funnel)

Pro-golfer Josh Oddy was selected to play golf for England at just 15 years old, and has since gone on to win the TP Tour and ranked number one in the world on the Simulator Golf Tour. 

Josh runs a popular golfing Tik Tok and Instagram account, where he shares training tips and techniques and records his simulator play. 

For 2024, Josh hopes to get a win on the Clutch Pro Tour and to qualify for the European Challenge Tour.

Dressage rider Esme Colley excelled in junior equestrian competition with beloved pony Tristan in 2023 — competing at the British Dressage Area Festival, representing the Isle of Wight at a Riding Club Qualifier and finishing first in their Novice Dressage to Music Freestyle test.

Isle of Wight County Press: Michael Whitham and Tahnee AttwoodMichael Whitham and Tahnee Attwood (Image: Red Funnel)

Esme has also qualified for the U25 British Dressage and Winter Area Festival events later this year and were selected to join a South and West Team for a 2024 British Dressage Quest team, with their sights fixed on major competitions and qualifiers throughout the season. 

Racing team and real-life couple, Michael Whitham and Tahnee Attwood had a successful 2023. 
Tahnee came first at Olivers Mount in Scarborough, then third overall in the British Supermoto Ladies Championship for the second year running. 

Michael came third racing at Rowrah in Cumbria, competed at Superbiker Mettet in Belgium and finished in the top ten in the ACU Novice British Supermoto Championship. 

Among Tahnee’s goals for 2024 are to place higher overall in the British Ladies Championship, while Michael hopes to do likewise in the Novice Championship.

See more ambassadors in next week's County Press.