Young Wiltshire sports stars secure funding for the future

Young Wiltshire sports stars secure funding for the future

Ten Sports Scholarship grants of £500 were given to young people from Wiltshire aged between eight and 18 years old who compete at either a regional or national level.

Recipients can use the funding to access training and competitive opportunities, to purchase equipment and to cover transport costs for attending regional, or national events.

The funding is made available thanks to the ongoing success of the Wiltshire Business and Sports Gala Dinner, which is due to be held again for the seventh time on 5 March in the Atrium at County Hall. There are just are a few tables available for this year's event. Any interested businesses should email events@wiltshire.gov.uk for more information.

With the gala dinner gold sponsors CGI, Landmarc and MiPermit on hand to present the grants to this year's worthy recipients, the lively evening started with an inspirational insight in to what it takes to be an elite athlete from special guest and previous grant recipient, 2018 Winter Paralympic gold medallist and 2019 World Champion, para alpine skier Jennifer Kehoe MBE.

The night's host, Conservative Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Wiltshire Council's Portfolio holder for Leisure said, "This funding will make a huge difference to the successful individuals in terms of providing financial support for their sporting ambitions. We are very proud of our Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians programme and its contribution to Wiltshire Council's long-standing aim of creating a lasting legacy of sporting success in the county."

Jennifer Kehoe MBE said, "It is such an honour to come and speak to these young athletes. Knowing you have the support of the local community is so important, not only when you are just starting out but also when you get to the top of your sport.

"I know what receiving a grant meant to me and how it boosted my confidence before the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyongChang. I am looking forward to seeing some of these names on the Team GB list for many years to come."

The 2020 Sports Scholarship grant recipients are:

Titus Clark - Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon
Titus is 17 years old and is from Calne. He is a member of the British Nordic Development Squad for Cross Country Skiing and the British Biathlon Union for Biathlon.

Jack Courtney - Fencing
Jack is 15 years old and is from Chippenham. He is a member of the GBR Cadet (Under 17) Men's Epee Squad.

Eloise Edwards - Boxing
Eloise is 14 years old and is from Devizes. She is a member of the England Boxing Development Academy.

Thomas Holmes - Athletics
Thomas is 17 years old and is from Marlborough. He is a member of the England Athletics Junior Talent Programme and is the England Athletics Under 17 National Javelin Champion.

Rory Howorth - Athletics
Rory is 17 years old and is from Trowbridge. He is a member of the British Athletics Academy of Sporting Excellence. At the recent England Athletics under 20 Indoor Championships for the Combined Events, he achieved five personal bests, finished first in the 60 metre hurdles and was fourth overall.

Eirlys Jones Gymnastics: Rhythmic
Eirlys is 12 years old and is from Malmesbury. She is a member of the GB Rhythmic Gymnastics Junior Squad, is Under 12 British Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion in Clubs and All-Around and is Under 12 Welsh Elite Rhythmic Champion.

Jason Kellinger - Rifle Shooting
Jason is 17 years old and is from Calne. He is a member of the GB Under 19 Rifle team.

Edward Nightingale - Sprint canoe
Edward is 17 years old and is from Trowbridge. He is a member of the English National Training Squad which is made up of the Top 10 boys in the country. Edward will use his grant to support him attending the European and World Championships.

William Scammell - Bobsleigh
William is 17 years old and is from Devizes. He is a member of the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association Development Youth Squad and Ranked GB Number 1 in his age.

Ellie Wallbaum Cycling: Road
Ellie is 14 years old and is from Bradford on Avon. She is a member of the British Cycling National Talent Pathway for 2019/2020 and a member of their Regional School of Racing.

by Charlie Monro,