75 budding local athletes to share £50,000 in funding
The Talented Athletes Fund is part of the County Council’s Local Communities Fund which offers financial help and support to local communities.
This year the fund has more than doubled its current Talented Athletes pot to £50,000 to help more up-and-coming athletes recognise their potential in their chosen sport, particularly those competing in disability/parasports who may require expensive adapted equipment, clothing, or have higher transport costs.
The depth and diversity of sporting talent in the county is shown by the thirty different sports which funded athletes participate in. Successful applicants include 10 para-athletes and 29 aged 15 or under.
Successful applications were received from every district of the county and demonstrated a high level of sporting achievements.
The most successful applications (14) came from ice skating, with athletics (seven), gymnastics (five) and swimming (seven) also featuring prominently.
Some of this year’s successful recipients share their stories, in separate case studies below, of how they have overcome adversity to succeed in their sports and adapted to finding ways to train creatively throughout the coronavirus pandemic and national lockdowns. They include:
Worksop swimmer Freya Peace (age 14)
Sutton in Ashfield swimmer Ethan Potter (age 13)
Newark Special Olympic ice skater Megan Mcfarlane (age 18)
Arnold wheelchair tennis player Alice Dyer (age 16)
Councillor John Cottee, Cabinet Member for Communities that awarded the Talented Athletes grants, said: “Looking forward to the Commonwealth Games 2022 and beyond, we are keen to support a wider range of local athletes, so we have increased this part of the budget from £21,000 to £50,000. We know that competing at a high level can be very expensive”.
Local sports stars to have also previously received this funding include gymnasts Sam Oldham, Becky Downie and Ellie Downie; swimmer Ollie Hynd; athletes Richard Whitehead and Sophie Hahn and show jumper Sophie Wells.
To qualify for the funding, athletes must have had to compete in a Sport England recognised sport with a national governing body and represented their country within the last 24 months or be ranked in the top five of their age group.
In addition to their sporting achievements, many athletes who receive grant funding through the Talented Athletes Fund have given back to their communities through coaching, volunteering and acting as sports ambassadors for Nottinghamshire County Council in their community.
Talented Athlete case studies:
Freya Peace (Swimming) – “Freya feels extremely lucky to have received an award from the Talented Athlete Fund which has helped her immensely. We have used it to fund competition entry and travel expenses since the national qualifying window opened. Freya is currently placed on the British rankings for 200m Fly and English rankings for 100m Fly for the Nationals. The fund has also contributed towards a new race suit and goggles which has given her the feel-good factor and will hopefully encourage her to race fast. We are eternally grateful that Freya was selected to receive an award” – Rachel Peace, mother.
Ethan Potter (Swimming) – “This is the second year that Ethan has been successful in receiving Talented Athlete funding from Nottinghamshire County Council, which we are extremely thankful for. The funds go towards his coaching and travel costs. Although suffering with a serious ear infection, Ethan has been selected by Swim England to participate on Phase Four of their Talented Pathway Programme, where he is due to go to a swim camp based at the newly built Sandwell Aquatics Centre where this year’s Swimming events are to be held for the Commonwealth Games” – Lee Potter, father.
Meg Mcfarlane (Special Olympic Ice Skating) – “We’d like to say a big thank you to Nottinghamshire County Council for Meg’s Talented Athlete funding this year. It’s been used to support her training, coaching and competition entries. Without this we would have struggled to maintain Meg’s involvement, through challenging circumstances over the past twelve months” – Cory Mcfarlane, father.
Alice Dyer (Wheelchair Tennis) – “Wheelchair tennis can be an expensive sport, with specialist chairs costing thousands of pounds and extensive travel to compete in tournaments due to the limited number of players in each area. Talented Athlete funding has not only enabled me to enter and travel to national competitions this year, but also to international tournaments. As well as this, the funding helps pay for additional coaching on court with my coaches. All of this will help me with my aim of transitioning from the junior game to the adult game and increasing my world ranking. I'm beyond grateful to Nottinghamshire County Council for helping make all of this a possibility and for their support”.
You can find further information about the Talented Athlete Fund:
Local Communities Fund: Talented Athletes 2021-22 | Nottinghamshire County Council