Giving our athletes a sporting chance
Getting to the top in any sport can be very expensive, but our grant scheme for talented athletes is helping to keep Nottinghamshire’s current and future sporting stars at the top of their game.
We've all watched on proudly as sportsmen and women from Nottinghamshire have done our area proud over the years.
Who could forget Mansfield's Rebecca Adlington's incredible double-Gold in the pool at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Gedling's Richard Whitehead coming from behind to win 200m gold at the London Paralympics, West Bridgford’s Helen Richardson Walsh captaining Team GB to hockey glory in Rio or Hucknall super siblings, Ellie and Becky Downie helping the British women's gymnastics team achieve unprecedented international success?
Obviously, this level of success requires immense talent, dedication, coaching and family support. But there’s another important element that sometimes gets overlooked – and that's money.
Having access to the best coaching and equipment does not come cheap. And travelling around this country and abroad to compete or train can be a huge drain on finances, with sponsorship and the bank of mum and dad only stretching so far.
I am proud that the County Council is playing its part to ensure that current and future sports stars have the financial support they need, through our annual Grant Aid Sports Fund for Talented Athletes. Applications are open now.
The fund provides grants to help the county’s most talented sportspeople to overcome the financial pressure that can come with competing at the top level in sport, where worries about funding can an unwelcome distraction.
Grants of up to £400 are available for sportspeople of all ages, provided they have represented their country in a sport recognised by Sport England within the last eight months and/or are ranked in the top five nationally in their age group.
Funding can be provided for a variety of uses, including specialist coaching, competition entry fees and extra equipment.
Previous recipients of the grants have told us that, not only does it give them the opportunity to improve performance, the knowledge that the Council and their local community is behind them is a tremendous confidence boost.
If you qualify, or know someone who does, applications can be made now at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/talentedathletes
The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 17 July.
Councillor Kevin Rostance, Vice-Chairman of Communities and Place Committee