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Grants available to help talented elite athletes succeed at world level

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Wiltshire Council’s ‘Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians Elite Athlete’ grant is open once again for applications.

Working in partnership with local businesses, Wiltshire Council supports the sports stars through the Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians Foundation.

 Now in its eighth year, this successful grant programme enables Wiltshire’s elite sports stars to access training and competitions, purchase equipment and cover the cost of transport to regional, national and international events.

 As part of delivering a lasting sporting legacy in Wiltshire, the partnership between Wiltshire Council and local businesses, through the annual Wiltshire Sports and Business Gala Dinner, has enabled more than £72,000 in funding to be allocated to support 40 individuals with an elite athlete grant, with numerous grant recipients achieving national and international success at the highest level of their sport. 

Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, leader of Wiltshire Council said, “We’re delighted to support our elite sports stars. We know these grants make a huge difference to athletes, providing much-needed financial support as they aim for success on the world stage.

 “Working with local businesses has proved to be very successful, and making the connection between our aspiring athletes and local business has helped with funding and sponsorship support. We see this as a mutually beneficial arrangement and one that is helping to develop Wiltshire’s future Olympians and Paralympians.

 “2019’s gala dinner, to be held in March, is proving to be extremely popular. We have already sold 70% of the spaces available. This demonstrates the fantastic support from local businesses for this great fund.”

 Previous grant recipients have included Paralympic gold medallists Stephanie Millward MBE and Aaron Moores MBE, Commonwealth medallist Laura Halford, world champion Hannah Brown and 2018 Winter Paralympic gold medallist Jennifer Kehoe MBE.

 Jennifer said, “I am so grateful for the support from Wiltshire; it has been invaluable in what has been an important year for me.

“Success at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in March, with my partner Menna Fitzpatrick MBE, was made easier by having this financial support. It has helped me to balance life as both a serving army officer and elite GB athlete, and has meant that I have been able to focus on the rigorous training that has been necessary to reach the very top of my sport.

 “It has also helped me look to the future and the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing, where we will be aiming to retain our Paralympic title.”

 People of any age, who are competing at a national level or above in any sport recognised by Sport England, are invited to apply.

 The deadline for applications is Monday 28 January at 5pm. For more information, the criteria and the application form, go to www.wiltshire.gov. uk/ leisure-supporting-athletes

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