Applications wanted for Hackney Youth Sports Fund

Hackney Council is once again encouraging young sports men and women to apply to the Hackney Youth Sport Fund for financial support to pursue their chosen sport.

The annual grant recognises the achievements of Hackney’s talented young people. It aims to build on their hard work and dedication in a wide variety of different sports. Applications will be accepted until Friday 29July 2011.

One lucky youngster is Josie Gummer who is being supported to follow her dream of progressing through Royal Yachting Association junior pathways to become an Olympic sailor. Josie, who races in a Cadet dinghy first as crew and now as helm, has set her target to get into the National Elite Squad.

The 14 year old is one of the top 5 sailors in the country for her age group, and first learnt to sail at West Reservoir in Stoke Newington after going to visit with her junior school. Josie has been hooked ever since and sails every weekend all around the country in rain or shine.

On getting her award Josie said: "I m really excited to get this award. It will help me with travel costs which means I can compete at the bigger events where the top competitors go."

Josie will use the grant to compete in her first International event, which is in Flanders in Belgium, as well as contributing towards equipment, travel and coaching fees.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Culture and Community Services said: “The Hackney Youth Sports Fund is there to help young people keep their sporting dreams alive. Costs can really add up which is why this fund is so important so many young people. I’d encourage anyone who needs some extra help to apply to the Council.”

Anyone who achieves Gold or Silver awards also receive, fully paid or half price memberships at one of the borough leisure centres courtesy of Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), the organisation running the Councils leisure centres.

Just as importantly the fund which is in its fifth year also recognises the incredibly important role that coaches, clubs and organisations have in the community as they develop not just the ability of individuals, but the vital opportunities and infrastructure needed to allow so many people to enjoy sport.

Other talented sporting stars Hackney Council is supporting includes:

Kim Pham – Weightlifting British Champion – under 18’s, 58kg category.

Ewan Clegg – Represents Great Britain Cadet Baseball team

Sharon Jones Barnes – To represent England in the Wheelchair Badminton European Championships, June 2011.

Tresor Mashaka Musongela – Silver medallist at the 2010 Karate National Championships.

Young people, community groups and coaches can apply for funding from the Hackney Youth Sport Fund Award by completing an application form at Or, contract Hackney Council’s Leisure & Physical Activity Team on 020 8356 4897 or

There will be a further two rounds this year with closing dates on Friday September 30 and Friday December 30 2011.