Young sportsmen and women from the district who harbour dreams of becoming the next Jessica Ennis-Hill, Bradley Wiggins, Tom Daley or Nicola Adams, are being invited to apply for a scheme from Harrogate Borough Council’s Sports Development Team, which may help them to achieve their goals.
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The Harrogate District Talented Athletes Academy was established in 2013 to celebrate the legacy of the Olympic Games, and to support aspiring young sports people with their training, by offering free access to train at Brimhams Fitness Centres and swimming pools.
Since its introduction, the scheme has supported several of the district’s high level young sports people including International Lightning Cheerleader Carrin Peters, National Taekwondo Gold Medallist Thomas Henley and National Under 18 Mountain Bike Orienteering Champion Edwyn Oliver-Evans.
Applications to join the scheme for 2014 are now being sought with the intention of helping talented young sports people from across the Harrogate district who are aged 25 or under, and who compete or perform at a regional, national or international performance level. Sports currently being supported by the scheme include cycling, golf, rugby, lacrosse, karate, table tennis, tae kwon do, swimming, diving and cheerleading.
Councillor Pat Jones, the council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Sports said: More and more young sports people are realising that their hopes of sporting success on the national or international stage are not just a pipe dream, and with the right opportunities there is no limit to what they might be able to achieve.
While many have the talent and dedication to succeed, sometimes the lack of access to training facilities has limited their progress in their chosen field. The Harrogate District Talented Athletes Academy’s aim is to provide talented sports people free access to such facilities in the hope that one day they will be able to stand on the top of the podium, set foot on the hallowed turf at Twickenham, or find themselves walking down the fairway at St Andrews.
With the success of the Olympic Games still in many people’s minds and with the sporting spectacle of the world’s premier cycle race, the Tour de France, coming to the Harrogate district this year, sporting success is still very firmly on the agenda, and hopefully this scheme will, in a small way, help the next Chris Froome achieve glory.
Full details of the eligible sports and how to apply can be found on the council’s website at www.harrogate.gov.uk/talent