Hackney Council has given £114,633 to talented young sportspeople in the hope that some of them will go on to become of the sporting stars of the future.
Since it was set up by the council in 2007, the Youth Sports Fund has supported 317 young athletes, community groups and active coaches in furthering their training and development.
In a special ceremony held on Wednesday July 24, 20 more potential sporting stars were given grants of up to £500 a year to continue their training in a variety of sports.
One of the youngsters to receive the grant is young kayaker Vanessa Humphrey, 17, who attends City & Islington College. Humphrey competed for Hackney in the London Youth Games and went on to manage the canoeing team. She said: “When I won a medal in 2011 I became dedicated to getting better. I do this sport because it’s challenging and fun. The money that I have received will help to pay for a competition boat as they are really expensive; it will also help me become even faster.”
The fund supports a variety of sporting disciplines and this year’s awards have gone to participants in sports such as football, sailing, swimming, cycling, ice hockey and fencing.
Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Jonathan McShane, said: “Hackney Council has been supporting talented young athletes financially since 2007. I’m very proud that we are continuing to support young people with their sporting dreams.”
The fund, which was established through compensation from sports brand Nike for misappropriation of the Council’s logo, also gives Gold and Silver awards, where selected applicants receive a fully paid or half price gym membership at Hackney Council’s six leisure centres in addition to their funding.
Another youngster reaping the benefits of the fund is 16-year-old Aminur Islam, who attends Mossbourne Community Academy; he is currently training with the British Cycling Eastern Regional School of Racing.
He said: “It has been a pleasure receiving the Youth Sports Fund grant. Thank you very much for choosing me for this award.”
There are two further opportunities to apply for funding in 2013/14 with one grant award between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014. The closing dates for 2013/14 are September 21, 2013 and January 9, 2014.
For more information on how to apply contact Hackney Council’s Leisure & Physical Activity Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8356 4897