News release from 02/02/2018

Funding to help local athletes reach new heights

Almost 30 athletes from South Cambridgeshire, including competitors in skeleton bobsleigh, cycling and clay pigeon shooting, are sharing around £16,000 in Council funding to help them reach their potential.

The sportsmen and women were successful in applying for funds from South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Elite Athlete Award Scheme grants. The programme is designed to assist able-bodied and disabled athletes from South Cambridgeshire, who are aiming to represent Team GB at world-class events like the Olympics and Paralympics.

The idea is for funding awarded to be used to make crucial contributions to aspects of training such as equipment and travel. All applicants were asked to demonstrate how they will use the money to help them reach their sporting goals.

This year, a total of 29 local athletes were successful in bidding for funds. Grants have been awarded to sports-people who compete in a wide range of events, including athletics, clay pigeon shooting, cycling, diving, equestrian dressage, golf, gymnastics, hockey, rowing, sailing, skeleton bobsleigh, swimming, tennis, trampoline, triathlon, goalball, powerlifting and squash.

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for the awards, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to help our local sportsmen and women to reach their potential. Training to be an elite athlete in any sport not only requires a huge amount of determination, but also hour after hour of practice. Our fund makes a valuable contribution to this process by helping local sportsmen and women pay for crucial factors that can’t be overlooked, like equipment and travel. Last year, I saw first-hand in a gym in Babraham how Camille Holland, our Dry Drayton-based Team GB powerlifter has benefited from this funding. I can’t wait to see this next generation of our local athletes putting the grants to effective use on their way to trophies and wider recognition.”

29-year-old Bar Hill-based cyclist, Hayley Simmonds, was awarded £1,000. She said: “I'm extremely grateful to South Cambridgeshire District Council for my funding.  As a female professional cyclist who does not receive any national governing body funding, the grant means a lot to me, particularly with the Commonwealth Games only ten weeks away.  The money received will aid me in my final preparations for the games, which include a warm weather training camp, aerodynamic testing and support services including physiotherapy and strength and conditioning."

Georgina Cohen from Shingay-cum-Wendy competes in the skeleton bobsleigh. After being awarded £250, the 28-year-old said: “This funding is a welcome contribution to my training. As a self-funded athlete, it will go towards achieving my goals in skeleton this season. As we don’t have a bobsleigh track in the UK, I must travel abroad to train and compete. Accommodation, travel, transport, insurance and track runs all have to be budgeted for. Each training trip is limited to what I can afford and it’s the access to ‘ice time’ that can make a real difference to achieving a good finish time and position, as we’re racing for hundredths of a second over 1.2km in under one-minute. This funding will go towards my upcoming trip to Igls in Austria.”

Daniel Mawby, a 20-year-old from Swavesey who competes in clay pigeon shooting, was awarded £1,000. He said: “I would like to thank South Cambridgeshire District Council for the opportunities they have given me. The scheme really helps young athletes take their next steps. It is helping me to achieve things that would not have been possible without the funding the scheme provides. It's a really positive thing for young people.”