The recipients of our grants are all dedicated to either participating in sport at a high level or to providing opportunities for young people to participate in sport.

2018 Charley Langford
Charley Langford



Achievements to date

  • 2019 - Selected to represent the open age South East Regional team for the Speedo Flanders Cup in Antwerp, Belgium
  • 2018 - English Winter National junior silver medallist 400m free (Short)
  • 2018 - English National age group silver medallist 100m free (Long)
  • 2018 - British National age group champion 1500m free (Long Course)
  • 2017 - English National age group champion 200m free (Long Course)

My name is Charley Langford, I am 15 years old and I live in Herne Bay, Kent. I attend Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury and swim for Thanet Swim Club, training at 25m pools in Margate and Ramsgate. I started learning to swim at the age of 5 at my local pool with Herne Bay Swimming Club but I didn’t begin to swim competitively until I was about 10.5 years old. I balanced swimming with a second sport, roller hockey, and I favoured the two sports equally even playing at European competitions in 2014 and 2015.

At age 12 I won my first Kent county title (in the 200m Backstroke) and qualified for my first South East Regional championships. Since then I have improved every season based on times and rankings. When I was 13, I moved to my current club, Thanet Swim, where I was able to dramatically increase my hours, and train in a much tougher environment with a professional coach, Dan Cross. This meant that I had to give up roller hockey and focus solely on swimming, however the sacrifice has paid off and I have competed at British National level competitions for the past two years and I have continued to improve. During these past two years I have qualified to swim at a national level in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle as well as the 100m and 200m backstroke events and Open Water. I am currently British age group champion in the 1,500 Freestyle.

Most memorable sporting achievement to date

Becoming 1500m Freestyle British age group champion in summer 2018.

Biggest sporting disappointment to date

Failing to make the podium in the 1500m free at the English Winter Nationals 2018, after going in ranked first junior, finishing 6th and swimming twenty seconds slower than my best time that I set in November. (Short Course)

Most respected sportsperson

Ryan Lochte: I idolise Ryan Lochte because of his phenomenal ability as an athlete, his diversity as a swimmer, his work ethic and his laid-back personality.

Ritual before sporting competition

Besides the orthodox body slapping and clapping on the blocks before a race, I try and keep my build up to races as constant and unchanging as possible. This means that I have no stress bearing on my mind and I can focus on my race. I always finish my pool warm up 30 minutes before my race is due to start then I go and put my racing costume on immediately. Based on experience, I know that there will then be no chance of me having to rush and I will have nothing to worry about. I like to listen to music on my headphones before my race to help me to relax and I always eat similar foods at competitions that I know will provide me the energy I need to compete well.

Our partners

  • Firmin
  • Kent County Council
  • Partner advert
  • A COVID-19 Rainbow

Did you know

Over the last twenty years, £210,000 has been awarded to individuals and organisations across Kent.


  • RT @KentSport1: Some great case studies from our #EverydayActive Small Grant in association with @KT4YS Examples include cricket, badminton…

    15 days ago

  • RT @KentSport1: Applications are now open for the 2021 Kent Young Coaches Academy. Open to young people aged 15+ that have just started the…

    17 days ago