Some of Derbyshire’s most promising sporting talent can look forward to a brighter future after being handed financial backing through the ICON bursary programme.
A total of 127 athletes from across the county will receive up to £250 of the £22,925 fund raised through county sports partnership Derbyshire Sport’s business network.
They will also receive free leisure passes in the area where they train and be given valuable PR exposure.
Denby Village 400m hurdler Jess Turner, who has represented Great Britain and is on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport Gold Programme, is one of the grateful recipients.
The 20-year-old Amber Valley and Erewash AC athlete said: “Competing in sport at a high level does not come cheap, so being awarded an ICON bursary is a tremendous helping meeting the costs of equipment, travelling, sometimes overseas, and coaching.
“It’s also great to get free access to my local leisure centre, as the strength and conditioning work I do is just as important as that done out on the track.”
ICON was set up by Derbyshire Sport as part of the work to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games in Derbyshire.
The bursaries have been made possible by the contributions of all 10 Derbyshire local authorities, plus a number of business members from across the county.
Each successful applicant must live in one of the county’s nine district and boroughs or compete for a Derbyshire-based club and must already compete at a high level.
All should already be representing their country or Great Britain, have won a national championship medal, are part of a recognised development squad or a development squad aligned to a professional club or have been selected for the Derbyshire Institute of Sport.
Director of Derbyshire Sport, Ilana Freestone, added: “It’s only through the continued support of the ICON programme from our business members that we are able to give so many athletes a helping hand, so we’re very grateful to them.
“There is a fantastic spread of sports and ages being backed by the programme, and we wait with bated breath to see what these champion performers can achieve as they move up the levels.”