Hackney funds future sports stars

A group of youngsters with hopes of a future in sport will be better off thanks to a grant from Hackney Youth Sports Fund, now in its second year.

The Fund provides financial support to local young athletes and organisations towards the cost of sporting facilities, equipment and training.

Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe presented the awards at an event at Hackney Town Hall this week. There were four individual Gold Award winners who have shown outstanding sporting talent nationally, and six Silver awards for individuals and groups, for displaying outstanding talent at a regional level.

Gold award winners receive up to £500; free local leisure centre membership and sports kit. Silver award winners get up to £300, sports kit and discounted leisure centre membership.

Mayor Pipe said: “Hackney Youth Sports Fund helps support talented young athletes fulfil their potential, as the costs of training, equipment and travel can be a barrier to competing at highest level. These awards will help develop the impressive amount of sporting talent among Hackney’s young people across a wide range of sports and age groups.”

Aoife Morgan is a fundraiser and committee member for Clissold Swimming Club which won a Silver group award. She said: "The club is going from strength to strength and we aim to increase our membership and be more inclusive so with the funding we plan to run after-school taster courses for primary schoolchildren in other parts of the borough."

The impact of the grants has already been felt by last year’s recipients, including Callum Woods who competed in the European Tennis Championships in Sweden where he gained 2nd place; and Sharon Jones Barnes who took part in a wheelchair badminton tournament in Wales.

Hackney’s Sports Development Team is now taking applications for the next round of Hackney Youth Sports Fund grants from young athletes that have been identified by their school, organisation or coach. Applications must be submitted by 30 April 2009. For more information, contact Sarah Davies on 020 8356 7563 or email: