Stoke-on-Trent sports stars receive city council funding boost

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Nine young sports stars from Stoke-on-Trent will benefit from £15,000 of European City of Sport funding to boost their sporting ambitions.

They will receive funding for training and competing in their chosen sports from the Talented Athlete Support Scheme.

The scheme was launched by Stoke-on-Trent City Council after the city was named European City of Sport in July 2015.

Eighteen individuals have been awarded packages worth £10,450 under the initiative since its launch.

Nine new athletes, aged between nine and 19, are the latest successes to receive grants ranging up to £600.

They will also be awarded credits to access specialist sports science services at Staffordshire University.

Sisters Danielle and Hollie Maddox, from Trentham, are among those to benefit.

They are both part of the Staffordshire County Netball Academy, and believe the funding will be a huge help to them and their families.

Danielle, aged 15, said: “My mum and dad spend a lot of their time and money on my netball training and county fees.

“It’s expensive but I really love it and the funding will help me so much.

“It means I can carry on in the county academy and try out for regional level netball, too.

“It also means I can continue my extra training sessions at Denstone College and Stafford which are really improving my fitness and play.”

Hollie, aged 12, said: “The funding means I can continue playing county and club netball every week so that when I’m older, I can try out for the England netball team.

“I want to be an inspiration to other girls my age thinking about playing netball.”

Lewis Adams, 19, from Bucknall, is a member of City of Stoke-on-Trent Swimming and has hopes of representing his country.

James Taylor, 15, from Trentham, has represented Barlaston Cricket Club for nine years and hopes to make England Cricket Board performance programme and tour Sri Lanka.

Cllr Terry Follows, cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: “It makes me proud to hear about the talented and exceptional young sports-people we have here in our city.

“I’m delighted we can play a part in supporting them to excel in their chosen sport and pursue their dreams.

“We have one more round of funding available this year with the closing date for applications at the end of December.

“Almost 20 aspiring sports-people have received support so far and I would strongly urge others like them to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”

Individuals can apply or alternatively, coaches, teachers, parents and family can nominate people they feel could benefit from the scheme on the Stoke-on-Trent City Council website.

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