Across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough there are a number of opportunities available for talented young athletes who show potential in their sport to achieve elite performance levels but who have the burden of costs associated with their progress.
However, before approaching charity or local authority schemes it is recommended that athletes approach their own Club, School or County Association. They can then ascertain what support might be available from the sporting organisations with whom they have the greatest connection, as well as obtaining information from their National Governing Body of Sport who will have information about schemes specific or available to participants in their sport.
Foremost amongst the opportunities is the national charity SportsAid. SportsAid helps the next generation of British sports stars by giving them financial support and recognition during the critical early years of their careers. These athletes are typically aged 12 to 18 and the grant awards help aspiring athletes to train harder and compete more effectively so they can progress up to the senior and/or international level of their sport with hope for future Olympic and Paralympic success.
SportsAid are funded by the charity’s partners, donors and fundraisers – locally there are two fundraising groups Peterborough SportsAid and Cambridgeshire SportsAid which are part of SportsAid Eastern and both these groups hold quarterly fundraising lunches.
Grant Applications to SportsAid are normally managed by the National Governing Bodies of Sport nominating athletes from their various performance and development groups. However in Peterborough, as a result of a significant grant award from Peterborough City Council, it is possible to make direct applications.
On behalf of UK Sport, SportsAid also manages the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (known as TASS). TASS supports aspiring sportsmen and women in higher or further education by giving them £3,500 of specialist services a year. These services help the athletes to pursue a dual career involving high-performance sport and their education.
Local Funding Schemes
South Cambridgeshire District Council has operated an Elite Athlete Award Scheme since London 2012 to support local sporting talent. Their grants will support any athlete who lives in South Cambridgeshire; it is open to both able-bodied and disabled athletes; priority will go to those taking part in Olympic and Paralympic sports with athletes competing at all levels from regional to World Class..
It is a competitive process and applications will be assessed with regard to eligibility, performance and potential. All grant recipients will be expected to provide a short end of year report including details of their performance and how the grant has been spent in accordance with the information provided in the application.
Cambridge City Council Future Champions sports grants scheme provides grant aid to gifted and talented able-bodied and disabled young athletes living in Cambridge who are aged between 11 and 25 competing at county or regional level, with priority given to Olympic and Paralympic Sports. The programme is supported by the Marshall of Cambridge Trust in memory of Sir Arthur Marshall.
GLL Sport Foundation grants are awarded annually and are available for athletes competing within Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sporting disciplines, from regional to Olympic and Paralympic levels. These grants are available for athletes who live or are educating where GLL and partners operate venues (in Cambridge City and soon Ely); or affiliated to a sports club that has a training base at a GLL operated venue