Tala in final bid to join Bolshoi

Ballerina Tala Lee-Turton.
Ballerina Tala Lee-Turton.

THE mum of a young ballet dancer in desperate need of a sponsor, has hit out at the complete lack of Government support for Britain’s young talent.

Sixteen-year old Tala Lee-Turton of Wombwell has just weeks left to find the funds that will enable her to train with the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet academy at Russia.

The talented teenager, who has worked relentlessly, sacrificing lesiure time and holidays for years to perfect her skill, needs over £15,000 in tuition and travel fees to take up her place as just the ninth British dancer in the Bolshoi’s 239 year history.

At half-term, Tala was out with single mum Sara to raise cash by packing bags in local supermarkets. They also plan two fundraisers in July, in a bid to make up the shortfall in funds to enable Tala to realise her dream.

Despite widespread coverage of her plight, local businesses have failed to offer support and enjoy the associated publicity a sponsorship could bring.

Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher is highlighting her situation, and said Tala would be a great young ambassador for South Yorkshire.

Sara Turton said: “It’s frustrating. I’m amazed that there’s no funding available for young people who show excellence at a young age and want to continue their training abroad. If the Government wants young people to excel then there should be some form of support at this stage.

“I have spent months researching all avenues in a bid to find extra funding, but there are barriers everywhere. At a time when there is so much patriotism about, and the Olympics are being staged in Britain it seems wrong that Tala, who could be classed as a sportswoman in that she is supremely fit and disciplined, could fall at this final hurdle.”

Sara is planning a show featuring her daughter to take place at the Dearne Playhouse in Goldthorpe at the end of July, in conjunction with Tala’s old school, Cudworth’s Fearons-Middleton School of Dance, with a fun day and zumbathon at Barnsley yet to be fixed. The mum and daughter will man a cake stall at July’s Picnic in the Park event at Wombwell and will be happy to chat to people.

“There are no grants available but I am still approaching businesses around the area in the hope that they will help. We’re not giving up,” added Sara.

To support Tala by making a donation visit www.gofundme.com/m0jvk