Funding boost for talented athletes

Wealth of Talent: Talented High Peak athletes met with Councillors Jean Wharmby, Caitlin Bisknell, Anthony McKeown, Carol Hart and George Wharmby at Buxton Swimming and Fitness Centre after the Podium Sports Partnership granted �4500 to their development.

Wealth of Talent: Talented High Peak athletes met with Councillors Jean Wharmby, Caitlin Bisknell, Anthony McKeown, Carol Hart and George Wharmby at Buxton Swimming and Fitness Centre after the Podium Sports Partnership granted �4500 to their development.

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TALENTED High Peak athletes have been awarded grants totalling £4,500.

The bursaries of between £150 and £400 were awarded by the Podium sports partnership to help the rising stars meet training and competition costs.

A civic reception was thrown for the 21 athletes in Buxton Swimming and Fitness Centre earlier this month.

Anthony McKeown, High Peak Borough Council’s executive councillor for community services, said: “Within the High Peak, there is a breadth and depth of sporting talent which, with our support through schemes such as this, can go on to achieve great things on the national and international stage whilst their dedication to their chosen sport makes them marvellous role models for young people in our communities.”

Grant-aided athletes include 18-year-old Glossop pole vaulter and national junior record holder Katie Byres, who is waiting to hear if she has made the Great Britain athletics squad for the London 2012 Olympics.

Other recipients include 20-year-old swimmer Russell Smith, from New Mills, who won a silver medal at the British Championships in the 50m breaststroke, and competed in the Olympic trials last month.

Bamford-based skiing brothers James and Robert Machon, aged 21 and 19 respectively, are both aiming for the 2014 Winter Olympics. James hopes to win the British Championships for a fourth year running in 2012 while Robert recently triumphed in the University Slopestyle title at the Castleford Snow Zone.

Bursaries were also awarded to Stephen Brunt (archery), from Buxton; Marsie Henderson-Hirst (archery), from Buxton; Jack Massey (boxing), from Chapel-en-le-Frith; George Bloor (golf), from Chapel-en-le-Frith; Ben Higgins (golf), from Buxton; Judith Browne (ice hockey), from Glossop; Abigail Walker (judo), from Glossop; Eric Ham (judo), from Hadfield; and Rhiannon Baldwin (judo), from Glossop.

The other recipients were Holly Rogers (kickboxing), from Buxton; Jake Hutchinson (lacrosse), from Birch Vale; Dominic O’Connor (rugby union), from Glossop; Danielle Blinco (shooting), from Buxton; Hannah Davies (shooting), from New Mills; David Voorheis (shooting), from Buxton; Abbie Wood (swimming), from Buxton; and Joel Leighton (water polo), from Hope Valley.

Managed by Derbyshire Sport, Podium is backed by the county’s sport and business scheme ICON, with money raised from the scheme used to support local athletes through Podium. The borough council is one of more than 40 Podium members.

The bursary recipients have also been given free access to swimming pools and fitness gyms run by DC Leisure for the borough council.