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Red Funnel Announces this year's Island Ambassadors

Thu, Jan 26 2023

25 January 2023: Red Funnel recently announced its Island Ambassador Programme, supporting Isle of Wight residents with a travel sponsorship programme. Red Funnel has announced the local Islanders who have been selected as the 2023 Island Ambassadors.

Aimed at celebrating local talent, the initiative supports local resident athletes, artists, and performers on their path to high-level success. The 2023 cohort showcases the diversity of talent on the Island, from an 8-year-old dressage rider to a kickboxing champion looking to defend his national title.

Throughout 2023, Red Funnel will support the Island Ambassadors by aiding the transition from local to national competition and status with travel sponsorship. The talented Islanders have been shortlisted for their aptitude, brilliance, and dedication to their respective vocation.  

Red Funnel’s CEO, Fran Collins, was impressed by the talented applicants, who champion the Island as an inspiring and creative place to live, work or visit.

Commenting on the programme she said: “It is an honour to be able to support the inspired and passionate individuals on the Island, whether it be through music, arts or sports. The Island music scene continues to offer up a plethora of undeniable talent catching the eyes and ears of those in the industry, while the landscape of the Island offers the perfect training ground for athletes with their sights on national and international competition opportunities. No matter the talent, we are excited to see the Island Ambassadors progress and reach their goals, as well as encourage and inspire other residents to follow their ambitions.”

Red Funnel will be following the successes of the Island Ambassadors and sharing their updates as they compete and perform at the top of their game, whilst promoting the Island on both mainland and international stages. Through the new Island Ambassador scheme, Red Funnel hope to celebrate and enhance the many great achievements of Isle of Wight residents, aiding their transition from a local talent to national status.


BB Racing, Supermoto Racing Team 
Finishing top 3 in their respective races in 2022, racing partners and couple Tahnee Attwood and Mikey Whitham have their sights set on the top spot for both the male and female Supermoto divisions in 2023.

Beth Brookfield, Singer and Songwriter 
A well-known talent across the Island, Beth played the 2022 Isle of Wight Festival mainstage and featured as part of Island’s first TED Talk, now looking to take her original music across the water.

Chris Stay, Motorcycle Trials Champ 
Trials riding since the age of 7, Chris has already achieved British Champion status several times, now looking to reclaim the title in 2023 and be competitive both nationally and internationally.

Coach Party, Signed Artist 
An indie rock explosion on the music scene, Coach Party have already performed at a sold-out Stade de France, the Brixton Academy and multiple festivals, now set to release new music in 2023 and heading off on tour.

Corey Kent, Autistic Jiu Jitsu Ambassador 
Since starting his fighting career in 2021, Corey has medalled at every event and been selected as a “Fighting for Autism” Ambassador. For 2023 Corey is aiming for the British Open Championship and hopes to inspire other people with disabilities to follow their dreams.

Dominic Marsh, Kickboxing Champion 
The current WAKO British Kickboxing Champion, Dom was selected for Team GB last year. For 2023 he looks to defend his national title here in the UK, while also climbing the ranks internationally.

Esme Colley, Junior Dressage Rider 
At just 8 years old, Esme and her pony Tristan compete in British Dressage with several accolades to her name. In 2023 Esme wants to continue to work hard towards achieving her dream as being part of the British Dressage Junior Team

Jess Burfitt, Junior Competitive Dancer 
Ten year old Jess has already been successful at national finals and major competitions such as ‘So You Want to Dance’, where she was the highest scoring junior soloist and awarded a scholarship to Pineapple Dance Studios.

Josh Oddy, Pro-Golfer 
Turning pro in 2020, Josh now plays golf full time around the world with his sights set on the European Tour in 2023. Alongside competition, Josh runs a successful golfing Tik Tok, sharing training and techniques for golf enthusiasts.

Liberty Lee, Junior Gymnastics Champ 
Competing regionally, 7-year-old Liberty won gold in the Under 8’s South of England Gymnastics Championships. For 2023 she looks forward to going up the levels and learning new floor routines for her competitions.

Sam Hodgson, Pro Mountain Biker 
Creating his own mountain bike training centre here on his family’s farm, Sam has been competing professionally all over the world for two years. For 2023 Sam looks forward to inspiring others to get into the sport, hosting events here on the Island and travelling to train and compete.

Sarah Holmes, Event Ride
Sarah competes professionally at the UK’s top Equestrian events in all three disciplines – dressage, show jumping and cross country. For 2023 Sarah hopes to bring her younger horses up the grades, while competing her own horse Fleur at 5*– a standard higher than the Olympics.

Wightflight Siberian Huskies, Dog Sled Racing and Show Team 
Owner Julie trains her husky team here on the Island, competing across the UK at Dog Sled Racing. Julie also shows her beloved huskies as working dogs, with Sparky awarded Champion Dog in 2022 and Lacey heading for Crufts this year.

For more detail on the Island Ambassador programme, please visit:


For further information, please contact [email protected] 
For more information or to book ferry travel with Red Funnel, visit:  

Notes to editors

About Red Funnel 
Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.  

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and its on board café, ‘ReFuel’. 

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Rhythm Tree, Wight Proms, and Walk the Wight as well as a range of community and niche interest events. Red Funnel’s Charity of the Year, 2023 is Aspire.

For more information, visit