Talented athletes win ICON bursaries

Some of Derbyshire’s most promising sporting talent is bidding to follow in the footsteps of this summer’s Rio stars after being handed financial backing through ICON.

City of Derby swimmer Adam Peaty won Olympic gold and team-mate Lewis White, from Swadlincote, a bronze at the Paralympics, having both received support from the programme, set up to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympics.

Other ICON-backed athletes to appear out in Brazil included Chesterfield tennis player Liam Pitchford and former Ripley Rascals and Derventio eXcel swimmer Molly Renshaw.

Now 119 athletes from across the county in 33 sports will receive up to £250 each of the £18,150 fund allocated for 2016-17, which has been raised through county sports partnership Derbyshire Sport’s business network.

Here in the Derbyshire Dales, the ICON recipients are Victoria Allen (Tennis) from Ashbourne, Alex Birch (Tug of War) from Baslow, Finnbarr Brooks (Inline Roller Speed Skating) from Ashbourne, Ashbourne Skiing pair Elektra Brown and Isobel Brown, Lewis Brown (Wrestling) from Middleton, Hathersage Skiiers Benjamin Burley and Samuel Burley, George Coles (Sailing) from Stanton in the Peak, Eva Henderson-Hirst (Shooting) from Flagg, Cameron Orr (Cycling) from Bonsall, Lewis Peachey (Rugby League) from Matlock, Caroline Povey (Shooting), pictured above, from Tansley, and Daniel Wellbourn Hesp (Sailing) from Bonsall.

Those on the programme also receive free leisure passes at the District Council's four leisure centres and are given valuable PR exposure.

The ICON bursaries have been made possible by the contributions of all 10 Derbyshire local authorities, plus business members from across the county. Each successful applicant must live in one of the county's nine district and boroughs or compete for a Derbyshire-based club and must already compete at a high level.

All should already be representing their country or Great Britain, have won a national championship medal, are part of a recognised development squad or a development squad aligned to a professional club or have been selected for the Derbyshire Institute of Sport.

Director of Derbyshire Sport, Hayley Lever, said:

“There’s been some superb performances by athletes from across the county in the past 12 months. It’s not easy to reach the high level that this talented group have.

“They have helped put Derbyshire on the sporting map, and we look forward to hearing about more successes with the help of ICON support and that of their family, coaches and clubs.”

Shooter Caroline Povey

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