Nottinghamshire County Council’s project to help young athletes fulfil their sporting potential has reached its final year of action.
The venture was introduced back in 2018 and has annually offered grants of up to £400 to Nottinghamshire athletes for their chosen sport.
The funding, which is set to be approved for the last time on February 4, has been a part of the County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme which offers financial support to local communities.
The grant aids in any costs associated with the Athletes’ sport; such as purchasing equipment, training, coaching, competition fees and travel.
Councillor John Hadley said that it has been a “great opportunity” for young athletes to secure funding “to continue their training to whatever level they are able to reach.”
The Council have awarded over 150 athletes over the last two years, with grants totalling over £40,000, and a further 75 athletes have been recommended for 2021 funding.
But the scheme was always set to end this year, despite the positive impacts it has had on the sporting community.
Barney Corrall, 20 from West Bridgford, was one of the successful recipients of the cause.
The young man suffered a stroke when he was a baby and was diagnosed with right-sided hemiplegia – a condition that affects movement on one side of his body – and cerebral palsy.
He defied medical odds and has since won a gold medal at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland, with dreams of entering the Paralympics.
However, amidst COVID-19 his training and competitions have come to a halt.
He said: “With the money I received from the Talented Athletes Fund I was able to buy plenty of gym equipment and train at home.
“Throughout the pandemic I’ve been training four times a week – with my disability it’s so important to keep up my strength, focus, fitness, self-belief and confidence, and the equipment helped me to do that.”
His mum, Jo Corral, 50, said: “I’m really sad to hear this scheme is coming to an end.
“Funding like this makes a huge difference.”
By Elysia Harvey.