Young sport stars benefit from council funding boost

Published: Friday, 24th August 2018

Young and talented athletes from Stoke-on-Trent have been given a financial boost to help them achieve their sporting goals.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has awarded just under £2,500 to six up-and-coming sport stars from the city to help with the costs of training, travelling, competing and equipment. And a further £3,500 has been shared out between two community sport groups. It takes the total amount awarded to 30 aspiring athletes and 25 local clubs under the council’s Talented Athlete Support Scheme to £40,000, since October 2016.

Rower Stephanie Howie is one of the talented athletes to receive funding through the latest round of the scheme. The 15-year-old, who is a pupil at St Joseph’s College in Trent Vale, has been rowing at Trentham Boat Club for the last three years after being introduced to the sport when the club’s coach visited her school. She is planning on using the funding to buy a home rowing machine so she can carry on training during winter.

She said: “I want to carry on improving in my sport and the support I’ve received from the council’s Talented Athlete Support Scheme will help me with that. Trentham Boat Club has a huge reputation, not just representing the North West of England at national level but giving me the opportunity to accept an invitation to fly to Brazil where I medalled for a rowing club in Rio de Janeiro against regional competition. The funding will support me by allowing me to buy indoor equipment which helps to continue training through the winter months.”

Other aspiring athletes from the city to receive funding through the scheme include:

Lauren Pate, aged 21, swimming;

Hannah Hussain, aged 15, swimming;

Ethan Lewis, aged 16, gymnastics;

Nicole Clee, aged 16, gymnastics;

Sophie Shore, aged 13, boxing.

As well as the individuals, Junior Park Run received £2,000 to help with the set-up costs, and Lightwood Bowling Club was given £1,500 to help convert disused tennis courts into parking facilities. The scheme was launched by the council after the city was named European City of Sport in July 2015.

Cllr Anthony Munday, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “It’s great for young people to be involved in sport. It gives them something positive to focus on, it’s brilliant for their health and wellbeing and allows them to meet lots of new people.

“Often, the further you go in sport, the more the costs involved can rise, and travel alone can be quite a financial burden before you even consider buying equipment. I’m really proud of the scheme we run and the fact it has helped so many local people pursue their dreams to date. It’s great to see the positive impact it has in the community and I wish all the latest recipients the very best for their futures.

“I would encourage anyone who is eligible for the scheme but hasn’t yet come forward to put an application in. We know there’s a wealth of sporting talent in this city and we want to make sure people have the opportunities they need to shine.”

To apply for the scheme, email the council’s sport and leisure team at energise@stoke.gov.uk

For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232987.