The Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians Elite Athlete grant is open once again for applications.
Working in partnership with local businesses, Wiltshire Council supports rising sports stars through the Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians Foundation.
Now in its seventh 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.
The foundation is supported by local businesses through the successful annual Business and Sports Gala fundraising dinner, which has enabled more than £62,000 in funding to be allocated to support both elite athletes and younger sports people identified as potential stars of the future.
The partnership between Wiltshire Council and local businesses has supported 37 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 sports stars, and we know that these grants make a huge difference, providing much-needed financial support for competitions, events and training camps.
“Working with local businesses has proved to be a big success, and by making the connection between our aspiring athletes and local businesses has helped them with funding and sponsorship support. We see this as a mutually beneficial arrangement and one that is helping to develop Wiltshire based future Olympians and Paralympians.
“Next year’s gala dinner, which takes place on 15 March 2018, marks the fifth year of this prestigious annual event. This is the first time that the dinner has sold out more than four months ahead of the event, demonstrating the fantastic support from Wiltshire’s businesses.
“The dinner, which we are delighted to host in the atrium at County Hall, brings together more than 240 guests from the world of sport and business. All guests are invited to participate in the auction of experiences and elite raffle to raise additional funding.
“Last year’s event raised around £50,000 to support the foundation. I hope that next year will be another successful event.”
Previous grant recipients have included Paralympic gold medallists Stephanie Millward and Aaron Moores, Commonwealth medallist Laura Halford, world champion Hannah Brown and 18-year-old high jumper Tom Gale.
Tom said: “Having this support has been invaluable in what has been an important year for me. I won a bronze medal at the European Junior Championships earlier this year.
“Funding has allowed me to focus on my training, which has enabled me to improve my personal best to 2.30 meters, on my way to becoming England senior champion.
“Last month I was told that I have been selected for Team England for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. I’m very grateful for the support I have received and I hope these grants can benefit more athletes who are seeking to reach their goals.”
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 29 January 2018 at 5pm. For more information, the criteria and the application form, go to www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-supporting-athletes