Grants of £2,000 shared between 13 Dales athletes

Some of the Derbyshire Dales' most promising sports performers have been handed a share of £2,000 in grants from business network ICON to help chase their dreams.

And your District Council will also provide each with free access to our leisure centres in Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth - worth £336 per head to further help them with their training.

Icon athletes celebrate their grant funding at Arc Leisure MatlockThe chosen 13 athletes have been selected to receive a grant of up to £250 each, which they can use to help meet costs such as travel, equipment, coaching fees or competition costs.

All of the athletes are tipped for further success in their respective sports, and are either already competing for England or Great Britain or are part of recognised national development squads or club academy structures.

Cllr Geoff Stevens MBE, Deputy Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, and Hayley Lever, Director of Derbyshire Sport which organises the ICON programme, met nine of the athletes to congratulate them during a presentation at the Arc Leisure Matlock last night (Monday January 19).

"We were delighted when Caroline Povey put the Derbyshire Dales on the map by medalling at the Commonwealth Games last year with the help of ICON and it is great that with further support we are helping to provide she can compete for a place at the 2016 Olympics," said Cllr Stevens.

"It would be great to think that there are other ICON athletes from the area who could follow in Caroline's footsteps by achieving success at the top level and we're committed to supporting talented local athletes by providing free access to our leisure facilities across the district."

Among the selected athletes are Tug of War duo Joe Birch and Alec Neville, duathlete and triathlete Tasmin Boam, wrestler Lewis Brown, cyclist Arthur Green, climber Edward Hamer and sailor Joshua Haynes.

Also being supported are archer Eva Henderson-Hirst Chinese martial arts exponent Sam Mak, shooter Caroline Povey, wrestler Shaun Thorpe, tennis player Victoria Allen and swimmer Stephanie Williams.

Joe, 23, from Monyash, helped the Two Dales Club claim fourth spot in the UK Championships and was also part of the team from Uppertown, Chesterfield to be runners-up in the UK Indoor Championships.

Alec Neville, 39, from Tansley, competes for Uppertown (indoors) and Two Dales (outdoors) Clubs, winning a gold medal in the European Outdoor Championships 700kg open event and a bronze in the World Indoor Championships 680kg category.

Tasmin, 17, from Hackney, near Matlock, a member of Chesterfield AC, finished second in the European Duathlon Championships and seventh in the World Duathlon Championships, also qualifying for the World Triathlon Championships – all in the under-20s sprint section.

Lewis, 13, from Middleton, near Matlock, is a member of Middleton and Wirksworth Wrestling Club and has claimed 13th place in the Jelgava Youth Tournament in Latvia and second in the British Championships, earning a place in the Midlands and national talent squads.

Arthur, 17, from Tansley, is a Derbyshire Institute of Sport athlete who is ranked fifth in the country and has ambitions to compete internationally in Europe, with the ambition of getting on the Olympic development programme.

Edward, 22, from Over Haddon, competes for the British Mountaineering Council, securing 30th spot in the lead climb event at the Chamonix World Cup and fourth in the DWS Exeter Deep Water Soloing Competition, as well as first in the British Lead Climbing Championships.

Joshua, 16, from Matlock, a member of the Trent Valley Sailing Club and on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport programme, was fourth GB sailor in the Laser 4.7 National Championships and first in the Datchet Water Ladder Event.

Eva, 15, from Flagg, who is a member of Derwent Bowmen and on the Archery GB Performance Academy, was first overall in the Junior National Outdoor Championships and finished with the individual high score at the equivalent indoor event.

Sam Mak, 21, from Matlock, fights for the Derby School of Chinese Martial Arts and was selected by the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA) to compete at the European Wushu Championships where he claimed two fourth places and a sixth.

Caroline, 34, from Tansley, shoots for the Joe Neville Shooting School and is a Derbyshire Institute of Sport Gold athlete who clinched a bronze medal in the Olympic Trap Clay event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and joint ninth place at the World Championships in Spain, leading her to be a finalist in the Sportsperson of the Year category at the Derbyshire Sports Awards.

Shaun is a member of Middleton and Wirksworth Wrestling Club is also in the National Talent Squad and finished eight representing his country at the Youth Jelgava Open Tournament in Latvia, to go with a third place in the English Junior Championships.

Victoria, 13, from Ashbourne, who is a member at Church Broughton Tennis Club, won the Scottish Under-14 Indoor Championship and has been selected as an Aegon Futurestars LTA performance player, thanks to being ranked in the top eight in Britain.

Stephanie, 16, from Curbar, competes for Derventio eXcel, has been chosen for the England Talent Development Programme after finishing within three per cent of a national qualifying time and raced on freestyle and butterfly at the National Championships.

Derbyshire Dales District Council and Derbyshire County Council are among 10 local authorities across the county who are members of business network ICON, which was set up by Derbyshire Sport as part of the work to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games in Derbyshire.

Other members of the programme include Huub Design and Derby County FC.

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