A budding Olympian of the future from Mansfield has been held up as a shining example of the success of a grants scheme.
Speed skater Sam Lloyd benefited from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Talented Athletes Fund last year, and has now heaped praise on it for helping him compete around the country.
Lloyd, 14, who goes to Samworth Church Academy, has qualified for the British Championships twice and won prestigious trophies.
He skates three times a week for Nottingham Ice Racing Club at the Nottingham Arena. Mondays focus on relays, Fridays on endurance training and Saturdays on speed and skills.
Mum Jo said: “When he first tried speed skating, Sam was instantly hooked. He loves the adrenalin rush.”
The Talented Athletes Fund offers grants of up to £400 to Nottinghamshire sportspeople who have represented their country over the past year.
The grants pay for travel, training, accommodation, competition and coaching fees and kit. Last year, the council awarded 65 grants worth more than £23,000.
Coun John Handley said: “This fund is a great opportunity for young athletes. We are proud of our sporting heritage and want to encourage youngsters to became as talented in their sport as they can.”