Funding boost for Staffordshire’s rising sports stars
Thirty one of Staffordshire’s most promising young athletes have been recognised for their sporting achievements and awarded a share of £14k in grants.
The young people received their awards from the Staffordshire County Council fund to help with the costs of training and competing in their chosen sports. After assessing over 80 applications, grants of £750, £500 and £300 were awarded to young people in sixteen different sports, reflecting the broad range of sporting talent in the County. Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Learning and Skills at Staffordshire County Council has responsibility for the scheme. Ben said: “With Rio 2016 and the European Championship this summer it is a great time to help and inspire the sporting talent of the future and help them one day bring home the gold.
“There is a great deal of sporting talent amongst Staffordshire’s young people and we are pleased to be able to support them on their sporting journey. We had a record number of applications this year and it was encouraging to see such a variety of different sports being represented.
“Staffordshire has a vibrant sports scene which we are proud of, with many sports clubs, coaches, volunteers and parents, all helping young people to achieve their sporting dreams.”
The Staffordshire Talented Athletes Fund supports young people with the cost of their training and participation in competitions, including expenses such as travel, equipment and accommodation. The awards are given in three categories, gold, silver and bronze, including 2 awards to young people with disabilities.
The Scheme is supported by Sport across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Quotes from some of the winners:
Will Foster, a swimmer from Draycott Cliff, Drayton-in-the-Clay, said: “I am thrilled to receive the Gold Award. The award will be a great help to me in meeting my training and competition costs and reaching my goals this year and beyond. Thank you.”
Ben William Askey, a cyclist from Wimblebury, Cannock, said: “Wow, this is the first time I have ever received some funding and that means I can have a new pair of race wheels for this year. Thank you so much, I am really chuffed.”
Jamie Greenwood (pictured, right), a hockey player from Huntington, Cannock, said: “I am delighted to have received the silver award. I am really hoping to break through into the England U18 team this year and this money will go a long way in helping me to reach this goal and help with the costs.”
Sydney Davies is an athlete from Blythe Bridge, Stoke-on-Trent. Her family said: “Sydney is extremely delighted and overwhelmed to receive this funding and is quite emotional that someone other than her family has belief in her and she will try her hardest to reach her goals and aim for the stars.”
Callum Shaw, an athlete from Cheadle, said: “I have been representing Staffs for the past five years and hope to again this year. It makes me so proud to wear the Staffs vest and represent my county. The money will be a huge help as there is not a lot of money in athletics and we tend to have to support ourselves.”
Beth Roberts, a footballer from Maybank, Newcastle-under-Lyme: “First of all I am over the moon and delighted that I have been granted this incredible reward! This money will help me in many ways to improve my football resources which will certainly help me to develop my career. I am also delighted to receive this reward because it will help not just me, but my mum to purchase my essentials for football so instead of worrying about finances I can worry about my footballing.”
Harry Yates, a cyclist from Lichfield, said: “I am very grateful for the money from the Staffordshire Talented Athlete Fund. I feel honoured to be selected knowing there are so many talented sporty people out there. I will certainly put the money to good use.”
Anna King, a footballer from Aston, Stafford, said: “I am extremely happy to receive the silver award this will really help towards travel, training and equipment and support me in achieving my ambitions.”
Holly Shepard, a swimmer from Cheddleton, said: “I’m very pleased to be receiving the award because it will help me buy new equipment that I will need in the run up to the British Summer Championships and it will also cover some of my accommodation costs. I am proud to be representing Staffordshire and very much appreciate the financial support that you have offered to support me in my swimming”
Amy Pye (pictured, right), a sprint hurdler from Ranton, Stafford, said: “I am so pleased to receive the award and I hope it will help me achieve my goals for the upcoming season.”
Campaigns Officer (Media)
Tel: 01785 276574