Lord Sebastian Coe has welcomed news that Nottinghamshire County Council is poised to become the first local authority in the UK to respond to his London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy plea – with compelling investment plans to help produce future sports stars and secure future Ashes Tests in the county.
It is anticipated councillors will announce their intention to launch a £1m Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Fund to support sports development across Nottinghamshire at a special invitation-only reception tonight involving county cricketers including Captain Chris Read and local stars of Team GB, whose success has contributed to a recent thirst for sporting participation across the county.
There are further plans to propose separate funding of £900,000 to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club to part fund a new scoreboard and replay screen – to guarantee £30m of economic benefit to the county and ensure Trent Bridge hosts two Ashes tests over the next four years.
Seb Coe, chairman, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: “After an amazing summer of sport that inspired people across the UK we must now harness that interest and enthusiasm. This work, commitment and investment by Nottinghamshire County Council is a fantastic example of how a legacy for London 2012 can be created at a local level.”
The £1m Olympic and Paralympic Legacy pot would feature two streams of funding – Kick Start grants of £500-£10,000 and Game Changer grants of £10,000 to £50,000 to help local sports organisations promote sport and nurture talent to find the sports stars of the future.
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club has also pledged to work with the county council to deliver an exciting youth work scheme for young people in the county, which will tackle social exclusion and youth crime.
The plans – which will be discussed by the county council’s Policy Committee on 17th October –are set to be announced in more detail at the invitation-only Sporting Legacy reception at Trent Bridge.
The likes of Nottinghamshire County Council-funded athletes Sam Oldham, Richard Whitehead, Ollie Hynd and Sophie Wells – who inspired the world at London 2012 – will also have their achievements recognised and celebrated at the reception.
Coun John Cottee, Culture Committee chairman at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “As a county council, we have listened and responded to Lord Coe’s plea for the nation to capitalise on an unforgettable summer of sport and we believe that the announcements we are making tonight can have a lasting legacy for a golden future of sport in Nottinghamshire.”
Triple Paralympic medalist Ollie Hynd, who clinched gold, silver and bronze at London 2012, and received Shining Stars funding worth £2,012 for training and travel purposes this year from Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “It is fantastic news that Nottinghamshire County Council is announcing this major Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Fund and has taken the initiative so soon after the conclusion of London 2012 to build on this summer’s success.
“I have benefited directly from financial support in the past from the county council through its Shining Stars fund. Grants such as this are vital to help athletes be able to concentrate on their sport and I am confident that this money can help find the sports stars of tomorrow.”
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club chief executive Lisa Pursehouse said: “We are delighted that Nottinghamshire County Council has recognised the benefits that Ashes Tests will bring to our county in 2013 and 2015 and applaud their vision for harnessing the power of sport to boost the regional economy.
“This funding package will strengthen our partnership for the benefit of local communities and we are especially pleased to be in a position to extend our Positive Futures programme which has already engaged so many young people at risk of social exclusion.”