Erewash sport stars to benefit from fund

Sporting stars who are flying the flag for Derbyshire in more than 30 different sports have been awarded bursaries totalling £40,000 from the Derbyshire Talented Athlete Fund.

A record 159 athletes will this year receive support from the Fund, which offers financial help to sports performers who live in or represent Derbyshire and who compete for England or Great Britain or have been tipped to do so within 18 months.

Each athlete will receive a bursary of up to £300 to help meet training-related costs such as travel, coaching or equipment.

Among them are a number from Erewash, all of whom are listed below.

The cash pot has been made available thanks to contributions from a number of public and private sector partners who are all members of sport and business initiative ICON, which is aiming to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games in Derbyshire.

Cllr Carol Hart, chair of Derbyshire Sport, said: “It is fantastic to see so much sporting talent in the county and in such a wide-variety of sports, and we are delighted to be able to award a record number of bursaries from the Derbyshire Talented Athlete Fund this year.

“We are very grateful to all the funding partners for their continued backing, without which we would not be able to support so many talented young sports people.

“The athletes and their families tell us that the bursaries really do help, and they are also pleased to be recognised as some of the most promising sports performers in Derbyshire.

“We hope that when they reach their goals they will be able to look back and remember that the Derbyshire community recognised their talent and supported them on their journey.”

This year’s Derbyshire Talented Athlete Fund was officially launched with a short presentation on the pitch before the Derby v Barnsley match at Pride Park Stadium in Derby on Saturday, March 5.

Those from Erewash who will receive the funding are:

Simon Skelton (Bowls)

Simon, 38, from Long Eaton, competed at the World Indoor Bowls Championships in January, and won the mixed pairs championship with partner Alison Merrien. He is also the current Bowls England Bowler of the Year.

Joanne Skelton (Bowls)

Joanne has represented England at Senior International level since 2007. In 2010, the 30-year-old from Long Eaton also competed at the National Championships and became National Triples champion.

Catherine McNicol (Gymnastics)

Catherine, 14, of Long Eaton, has been part of the Great Britain squad for seven years. She took fifth place at the British Championships and finished fourth at the English Championships.

Hannah Dulston (Gymnastics)

Seventeen-year-old Hannah, who trains with the Erewash Valley Gymnastics Club in Long Eaton, competed at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Moscow in September.

She has been selected for the Rhythmic Gymnastics Group Programme and hopes to compete at the World Championships in France this year and is ultimately aiming to compete at the Olympics in 2012.

Nick Newbold (Golf)

Nick, 17, from Sandiacre, has been selected to represent England U18 again for 2011.

He will compete at the Portuguese Amateur in February.

Will Weldon (Ice Hockey)

Will, from Long Eaton, played for the England U19 squad last year, with a 6-1 win over Scotland.

The 17-year-old was also a reserve for the Great Britain U18 team, captained the Midlands Conference team and played for the Nottingham Panthers.

Anya Colley (Jet Skiing)

18-year-old Anya, from Long Eaton, won the British Ski Stock Championship in 2010, and finished second in the Ski Limited Class and third in the GP class.

She represented Great Britain at the World Finals in Arizona and finished fifth overall in the Pro Class.

Callum Bowley (Ice Hockey)

Callum, from Sandiacre, plays for the Nottingham Leopards and Nottingham Lions. His goals are to become a professional ice hockey player and to compete at the Winter Olympics.

Joe Oakley (Cycling)

After being crowned 2009 UCI Junior Mens World Trials champion , Sandiacre’s Joe, 19, moved up to the elite category and achieved his aim of finishing in the top ten overall.

Teigan Smart (Ice Skating)

13-year-old Teigan, from Ilkeston, won a gold medal at the British Championships.