Young Mansfield and Ashfield athletes share in £21,000 fund to help them fulfil ambitions

Young athletes from the Mansfield area are being awarded a share of £21,000 to help them fulfil their sporting ambitions.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 10:22 am
Mansfield ice skater Darja Pilace received a share of the fund.

The Talented Athletes Fund, part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme, offers financial help and support to local communities.

A total of 75 Nottinghamshire athletes will benefit from grants of up to £400 to help with expenses such as travel, coaching, competition fees and kit.Applications were received from across the county with the most popular sports category coming from ice skating, with athletics and swimming also featuring prominently.The successful applicants include ice skater Darja Pilace from Mansfield, swimmer Ethan Potter from Sutton-in-Ashfield and ice hockey player Faith Laverty from Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

Faith said: “I was shocked and excited when I heard I’d got the grant.

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Swimmer Ethan Potter

"It’s brilliant though because it will help me to keep training.

"It’s been really hard in this lockdown because the rinks are closed again but I’m still training at home as much as I can with online programmes and challenges my coaches set.

“I’m so looking forward to getting back on the ice once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and actually playing a game. I miss training, I miss my coaches and I miss my team.”

Swimmer Ethan added: “I am really pleased to have been awarded funding from Nottinghamshire County Council, and I'm eager to get back in the pool with the rest of my teammates.”

Faith Laverty training during lockdown.

To qualify for the funding, athletes must have competed in a sport that is governed by a national governing body that is recognised by Sport England.

Successful athletes must also have represented their country within the last 24 months and / or be ranked in the top five of their age group.

Councillor John Handley, vice-chairman of communities and place committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I am delighted that we are, once again, able to support our fantastic local athletes.

"While our funding only provides a proportion of what is required when competing at such an elite sporting level, I know it is gratefully received by our young athletes and their families.

“Nottinghamshire has a strong sporting heritage. The volume and high standard of applications received for this latest round of funding further cements our reputation as a sporting county.”

In addition to their sporting achievements, many athletes who receive grant funding through the Talented Athletes Fund, have given back to their communities through coaching, volunteering and acting as a sports ambassador for Nottinghamshire County Council in their community.

Councillor Handley added: “Prospective Olympians and Paralympians of tomorrow have remained determined to fulfil their ambition in their chosen sport and continue to make positive contributions to their local communities despite the challenges the past year has presented them with. The fund shows the county council’s commitment to supporting them on their journey.”