Notts County Council backs sporting talent

Ollie Hynd

More than 100 of the county’s most talented athletes are set to share £21,000 in Nottinghamshire County Council funding to help them fulfill their sporting ambitions.

The County Council’s Communities and Place Committee has today (Thursday 10 January) approved a range of grants of up to £400 to help with expenses like travel, coaching, competition fees and kit for some of our area’s brightest sporting stars.

The Local Improvement Scheme – Talented Athlete Scheme funding is awarded annually.

This year, the Council received applications for over £49,000 in funding – more than double the amount available and a 38% increase on last year. To ensure that all 118 Nottinghamshire applicants received some level of support, each application was scored and ranked after a rigorous assessment by Active Nottsand the County Council’s Communities team.

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 12 months, or be ranked in the top five of their age group.

The depth and diversity of sporting talent in the county is shown by the FORTY different sports which funded athletes participate in. Successful applicants include four para-athletes and 52 aged 16 or under

Unsurprisingly, as Nottinghamshire is home to the British Canoeing Headquarters, most successful applications (24) came from canoeing. Athletics, ice skating and swimming also figure prominently, with lower profile sports such as handball, climbing, inline roller hockey and water polo also included.

Successful applications were received from every district of the county, with most (51) from Rushcliffe, home of British Canoeing Headquarters at the National Watersports Centre, Holme Pierrepont.

Councillor John Handley, Vice-Chairman of Communities and Place Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The volume and high standard of applications for Talented Athlete funding demonstrates that Nottinghamshire’s reputation as ‘the sporting county’ is well-founded.

“I am delighted that we are, once again, able to support our fantastic local athletes. To have so many competing at such a high-level – nationally and internationally – means our investment is repaid ten-fold in the positive publicity their success brings to Nottinghamshire and the inspiration they provide to others to take-up and excel at their sport.

“Reaching an elite level in any sport requires a huge amount of talent, hard work and, in many cases, financial hardship and sacrifice for the athlete and their family. Whilst our funding only provides a proportion of what is required, I know it is gratefully received and we hope it can help give our athletes the edge over those from other areas where the same support is not available.”

Local sports stars to have previously received Talented Athlete funding from Nottinghamshire County Council include gymnasts Sam Oldham, Becky Downie and Ellie Downie; swimmers, Ollie Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw (now a paracanoeist); runner, Richard Whitehead; show jumper, Sophie Wells and rising tennis star, Freya Christie.

Following today’s funding approval, the successful applicants will now be contacted with their grant offer.