Young stars get funding to compete nationallyBy Jon Nurse
October 16, 2012
Talented young athletes will be given a boost to help them compete nationally after councillors doubled sports funding to continue the town’s Olympic legacy.
Youngsters will be helped to reach their full potential after Councillor Angus Ross announced at last Wednesday’s Olympic civic reception that the borough council’s sports sponsorship fund will jump from £3,500 to £7,000 for the next three years.
The fund offers grants to young sporting stars aged under 18, who live in the borough and play to at least county level standard.
Cllr Ross, who also sits on Wokingham Borough Sports Council, said: “By announcing we are doubling the council’s grant funding to the borough’s sports sponsorship fund, we are providing just a small legacy to the Olympics.
“We give out fairly small sums which are quite often match-funded by town and parish councils.
“It provides a little boost for the enormous expense of equipment and accommodation.
“Wokingham Borough Council is committed to encouraging people to take an active interest in sport and continues to promote fitness and exercise across the borough.”
Aerobic gymnast Chloe Farrance of Kingfisher Drive, Woodley, has been helped on the international stage by similar grants from Woodley Town Council, and the 19-year-old is pleased with the borough’s commitment.
“I think this sounds like a great change,” she said.
“It can make a massive difference because we have to pay for everything ourselves.
“When my sister Olivia and I go to places like Japan it can cost us £1,000 each [in travel]. I’m so thankful for the support we get.”
Miss Farrance has represented Great Britain in many Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships, but at the moment she is out with an knee injury she picked up during training at Bulmershe Gymnastics Club in Woodley.
Roland Mear, chairman of Wokingham Borough Sports Council, added: “The amount has to be kept in perspective, but we are pleased to hear they are going to continue to support it – especially in this present climate.
“Anything that adds to sport, particularly after the Olympics, is encouraging.
“People are taking youngsters long distances when they have to travel for county and international events and they are spending an awful lot of their own money.”