The Isle of Man Sports Development Unit and the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association joined forces with Doug Barrowman, in conjunction with Creechurch Capital and two other sponsors, to fund a Kelly Holmes Education Programme for the Island, named ‘The Isle of Man Sporting Excellence Programme’.

The people of the Isle of Man are passionate about nurturing and gaining recognition for the Island’s sporting talent. For the first time talented performers and coaches from across the Island came together to learn from leading experts in their field, to ultimately raise performance standards.

60 Sporting Performers aged 13-57 years and 40 Coaches, across a range of sports participate in the Programme.

The Programme was launched by the Double Olympic Champion, Dame Kelly Holmes, and ran for 2 years and involved 3 Workshop Days each year that helped the athletes prepare for elite performance, multi sport and major championship competition.



The IoM Sporting Excellence Programme was the inspiration for Creechurch Capita that was part of the Knox group of companies of which Doug Barrowman is Chairman. Its function was  to consider supporting young sports people. Through its Sports Academy a selection of handpicked, promising young sports stars were chosen for support as the business’ way of giving something back. Over six years, the Sports Academy donated in excess of £100,000 to developing the careers of these young sports stars.

Daniel Lloyd

Huddersfield-based Daniel Lloyd was the first recipient of the Sports Academy scholarship in 2011. He now races in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Previously Daniel has been awarded the Porsche Scholarship and competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. In 2016, he joined the Eurotech Racing Honda squad.

Yasmin Ingham

Yasmin Ingham was crowned British National Pony Champion. This outstanding result means Yasmin can look forward to competing at the highest level, with the forthcoming European Championships on the horizon and then the pinnacle of any athlete’s career, the Olympic Games.

Charlotte Wild

Cheshire-based golfer, Charlotte Wild was supported to her success as runner-up in the Fourqeuex Ladies open in Paris, which is part of this year’s Ladies European Golf Tour.

Johnny Bellis

Cyclist Jonny Bellis was tragically affected by a life threatening motorcycle accident in Italy that almost claimed his life in September 2009. The Sports Academy supported his comeback at only 24 years of age. He achieved the bronze medal in the 2007 World U23 Road Race Championships and was the youngest road rider at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Nico Lavery

The Academy extended its support to Spain-based go-karter, Nico Lavery. He has a passion for motorsport and since the age of only two has been driving quads and bikes. He’s one to watch!

Aaron Cook

Three-time European taekwondo champion, Aaron Cook, was backed by the Sports Academy when he represented the Isle of Man to his 2014 victory. He represented Great Britain in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where he reached the semi-final and was narrowly defeated in the bronze medal match.

Michael Cross

Talented teenager, Michael is a highly experienced shooter, and has already taken part in numerous high profile competitions throughout the UK. His biggest success so far is winning the ‘Colts Class’ in the English Skeet British Open last year, with an outstanding score of 97 out of 100.

Blake Henwood

At just 10 years old Blake Henwood is already an extraordinary footballing talent. His talent has been recognised by Manchester City Youth Academy, where he has been selected to attend training sessions. On the Isle of Man, Blake has been awarded a place with both the Isle of Man Centre of Excellence and the iCue Academy.