Funding of up to £400 available for talented Notts athletes

Rachel Heap

Calling all Talented Athletes in Nottinghamshire! Funding is now available to support you in your chosen sport.

The next round of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Talented Athletes Fund has opened today (FRI), offering grants up to £400 for Nottinghamshire athletes who have represented their country at national athletic events in the last year. Applications close 15 October 2018.

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The Talented Athletes Fund is part of the County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme which offers financial help and support to local communities.

Grants are available to pay for travel, training, accommodation, competition and coaching fees and kit costs. The county council awarded 65 grants worth more than £23,000 in sports grants last year.

Some of last year’s successful recipients have spoken of their delight at receiving funding, and are profiled in separate case studies below. They include:

Ashfield pole vaulter Felicia Miloro who has represented GB
Broxtowe skier Bradley Fry who has competed at a European Cup
Ice hockey player Toby Fisher from Gedling, national champion with Nottingham Tigers
Olivia Whitelaw, dressage from Newark and Sherwood who has represented GB
Rower Rachel Heap from Rushcliffe, representing GB at Under 23 level
Rushcliffe athlete Molly Palmer, top in the UK in her age group for 100m
Becoming a top athlete requires immense talent, dedication, coaching and family support. But there’s another important element that sometimes gets overlooked – and that’s money.

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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 home budgets only stretching so far.

Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Vice-Chairman of the Communities and Place Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted to be launching the Talented Athletes Fund. We want young athletes – both male and female – to apply to this fund, so they can receive vital support for their chosen sport.”

Previous local sports stars to have received the funding, include gymnasts, Sam Oldham, Becky Downie and Ellie Downie; swimmers, Ollie Hynd and Charlotte Henshaw; athlete, Richard Whitehead; show jumper Sophie Wells and rising tennis star, Freya Christie.

Coun Wheeler added: “Some fantastic athletes have benefitted from sports grants from the County Council in the past and young people will immediately relate to these stars.

“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. Our Local Improvement Scheme provides targeted financial support to help make Nottinghamshire stand out as a place where people can fulfil their ambition. We wish all applicants the very best of luck.”

Applicants must live in Nottinghamshire – please read the ‘Talented Athletes Fund Application Guidelines’ for full details of the criteria for funding, which is available to download from the County Council’s website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/talented

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The closing date for applications is Monday 15 October at 5pm

Rushcliffe: Rachel Heap, 19, from West Bridgford. Sport: Rowing

Rachel has spent the last season racing and training for the Leander Academy in Henley on Thames. She has raced nationally all season and won the under 23 4’s head of the river race back in November.

In addition to this Rachel has just returned from the under 23 European championships in Belarus, where she placed 5th in the women’s pair.

Rachel started Rowing after being inspired by the 2012 Olympic Games, so joined the learn to row course which was hosted by her school – Rushcliffe Academy. When asked about the support from Nottinghamshire County Council, Rachel said: “The support has been a huge help for me and has allowed me to afford the training camps and racing accommodation throughout the season. In addition it is great to know I have the support of the council with my rowing career!”

Aside from the funding Rachel receives from Nottinghamshire County Council, Rachel funds her rowing though a job as a waitress and the generous support of her parents; who are her main support network, supporting her at every race.