A MELKSHAM woman who is part of the British Canoeing team has been awarded a £1,000 grant thanks to the generosity of Wiltshire businesses.
Hannah Brown will benefit after more than £28,000 was raised by businesses and organisations to help support the next generation of Wiltshire sports stars at the second Business and Sports Gala Dinner.
The dinner was held as part of delivering a Legacy for Wiltshire, a council-led partnership which aims to encourage people to keep fit and active, boost the local economy and bring communities together, building on the success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Money raised from the night will boost the foundation fund set up following last year’s inaugural dinner, which provides financial help to local, elite athletes. Successful applicants receive funding to assist with training, attending competitions, as well as paying for equipment and transport costs to regional, national and international events.
Melksham’s Hannah Brown was one of those athletes to receive a slice of the funding available. She is a member of British Canoeing Sprint Podium performance Squad. In 2014 she made the Great British selection standards in K1 200m at national selection regattas. At the European Championships she was 12th in the K1 200m and at the World Championship was 21st in the K1 200m and 5th 200m in the Relay. Hannah also raced in the World Cup races in Racice where she was 15th in the K1 200m and in Szeged where she was 17th in the K1 200m.
More than 20 businesses sponsored and supported the dinner to assist the budding Olympians, Paralympians and athletes with world-class potential on their journey to success. The main sponsors were Aerian, CGI and James Hay Partnership.
Wiltshire Council’s leader Jane Scott said: “I am absolutely thrilled we have managed to raise this much money. The aim of the dinner was simple, to bring business and sport together and as a result deliver a win-win solution. We like to set our sights high here in Wiltshire and know that our local sports people need our support to help them to achieve their dream of representing the county and country on the biggest of sporting stages. A small amount of funding can help these athletes to go a long way towards achieving their goal.
Rob Perks, chief executive of Wessex Chambers of Commerce said: “It was an extremely inspirational night and we were very proud to be involved.
“We have been really fortunate to enjoy a special partnership with one of our top local athletes and know at first hand the benefits it can bring. It was great to see so many businesses showing their support and playing their part in what was a hugely successful evening.”