Derbyshire’s got talent
By Owen Bradley, BBC Blast sport reporter
We take a look at the scheme working to support some of the region’s top sporting prospects.
The Derbyshire Talented Athlete Fund was first set up in 2007, with the aim of helping young sports stars in the area who were on the cusp of representing their country, or had already donned a national vest.
This support came in the form of a £300 bursary for each of the 76 athletes in the scheme, money which goes towards meeting the travel and training costs of the recipients.
As the project prepares to enter its fourth year it has expanded significantly, now helping over one hundred athletes across the area.
Of course, as Derbyshire Sport’s National Governing Bodies Officer Dan Newton explains, competition for places on the scheme is high.
“We received over 170 applications for last year’s scheme,” said Newton. “The panel sat for five or six hours to try and get down to a number that we were satisfied with, and it will be a difficult decision again this year.”
“We are always developing the scheme. The amount of athletes we can have is purely dependant on the amount of money we have.”
“The £300 bursaries we believe are right, so we will keep with that. We will have to see at what point we get to later in the year.”
The project – which receives funding from all of the Derbyshire regions and a number of local businesses, supports athletes in over thirty different sports ranging from football and swimming to archery and ice hockey.
And with the London Olympics on the horizon, Newton firmly believes that the scheme is central to helping put Derbyshire on the sporting map.
“There are some really exciting athletes who are part of 2012 training camps,” said Newton.
“They are part of the best group of athletes for their age for their sport. That’s something to be proud of.”
last updated: 11/08/2009 at 10:49