Posted: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 09:08
Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport (LRS) and its partners are once again pleased to support talented individuals through the GO GOLD Funding Programme.
58 promising young athletes from 17 sports from Cycling to Ice Hockey to Wheelchair Basketball, have been successful in receiving grants as part of Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport's GO GOLD Funding Programme 2019/20.
The aim of GO GOLD is to support local talented athletes who are being recognised by their National Governing Bodies of Sport as being our future Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games participants.
The athletes were presented with their funding grants by the Chairman of Leicestershire County Council Mr Ozzy O'Shea, at County Hall on Thursday 4th April. The grants aim to provide valuable financial support towards kit, equipment, travel and accommodation for competitions and tournaments.
Funding ranges from £250-£1,000 to those athletes who are competing at Regional (East Midlands), National or International Level in an Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth discipline.
Athletes have been successful from all 9 districts across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. Athletes receive free leisure access for 12 months and developmental opportunities.
- Blaby - 7 athletes supported
- Charnwood - 15 athletes supported
- Harborough - 11 athletes supported
- Hinckley and Bosworth - 3 athletes supported
- Leicester City - 9 athletes supported
- North West Leicestershire - 4 athletes supported
- Melton – 1 athlete supported
- Oadby and Wigston - 2 athletes supported
- Rutland - 6 athletes supported
Team GB T38 athletics champion, Sophie Hahn attended the evening. She is best known for representing GB in the T38 category for athletes with cerebral palsy and other conditions causing co-ordination impairment.
Sophie is the reigning World, Commonwealth, European and Paralympic Champion. Inspired to take up athletics after watching the London 2012 Paralympic Games Sophie was encouraged by her family to join a local athletics club. Her natural talent for sprinting was evident and Sophie now has an impressive medal collection for her racing, having achieved the 'grand slam' of titles and currently holds the T38 World Records for 100 and 200m. Sophie was awarded her MBE for Services to Athletics in 2017.
On the evening she spoke with Compare for the evening Gaynor Nash where she explained what pushed her to pursue a career in Athletics: "It was watching the London 2012 Olympics that inspired me. From sports days at school, I had always had a love of sport right from an early age – It's great to be here tonight supporting a great scheme that can help athletes to achieve their dreams."
GO GOLD Athlete Lucy Robinson from Leicester City, whose greatest achievements include receiving a Gold Medal at the GB U24 European Championships, said: "Funding has helped me carry on my journey. I travel up and down the country to matches as well as competing in tournaments and camps which all have costs. Maintaining my wheelchair is also expensive so it is a bonus to have funding to put towards equipment like this."
Athletics Champion and GO GOLD Ambassador, Amy Griffiths from Oadby & Wigston also spoke of her gratitude for the funding opportunity: "I'm over the moon to receive GO GOLD funding again this year! Thank you so much for the continued help, I truly appreciate your support which will be going towards an altitude training camp that is being planned for May. Your support is invaluable!"
The Chairman Trophy Award for the most improved athlete was awarded to Swimmer, Lucy Sharp from Charnwood who has made every final this year bar one and secured five personal bests. She appeared surprised but very pleased to have won the award: "To even be nominated for the Chairman's Trophy Award was a great honour, so to then go on to receive the award was unexpected but I was really grateful and proud. I hope I can continue to work hard and develop further to be the best athlete I can be and live up to this recognition of the improvements I have made in my swimming."
The funding is provided by Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Rutland County Council. All the GO GOLD athletes will be blogging throughout the year on their competition and training progress – visit www.lrsport.org/blogs to read the latest Blogs.