Young sportsmen and women from the district with dreams of becoming the next Alistair Brownlee, Lizzie Armitstead or Jack Laugher are being invited to apply for a Harrogate Borough Council scheme which may help them achieve their goals.
Run by the council’s Sports Development Team, the Harrogate District Talented Athletes Academy was set up in 2013 to celebrate the legacy of the Olympic Games. It supports aspiring young sports people by offering free access to training at the council’s Brimhams Fitness Centres and swimming pools.
Since it was introduced the scheme has supported several of the district’s high level young sports people including Commonwealth Gold Medal winning swimmer Sophie Taylor, European Shotokan Karate Champion James Brown, and National Under 18 Mountain Bike Orienteering Champion Edwyn Oliver-Evans.
The council is now looking for applicants for 2015-16 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 Stanley Lumley, the council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport said:
More and more of our young sports people are realising that their hopes of sporting success on the national or international stage are not just a pipe dream. With the right opportunities there’s no limit to the heights they can reach.
While many have the talent and dedication to succeed, sometimes the lack of access to training facilities has limited their progress.
The aim of the Talented Athletes Academy is to provide talented young sports people free access to those facilities in the hope that one day they will be able to take home the gold, set foot on Twickenham’s hallowed turf, or find themselves in the lead walking down the 18th at St Andrews.
Following the Tour de France and Commonwealth Games, and with Rio 2016 just around the corner, sporting success is still very firmly on our agenda and hopefully this scheme will, in a small way, help the next crop of world beaters achieve glory.
Full details of the eligible sports in the Harrogate District Talented Athletes Academy and how to apply can be found on the council’s website at www.harrogate.gov.uk/talent