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Funding available for aspiring Lincolnshire athletes

Aspiring athletes in Lincolnshire can now apply for support and funding of up to £1,000 by joining Lincolnshire Sport’s Elite Athlete Programme.

Applications for the 2015 programme are available to download or by emailing rachel.belcher@lincolnshiresport.com

The deadline to return application to be part of the next LEAP generation is Friday, October 11, 2014.

Successful sports performers will gain a variety of help and mentoring, promotional support, training opportunities, sports therapy and a performance camp with double Olympic medalist Bryan Steel.

Working with a variety of partners including Lincolnshire County Council, district councils and corporate club organisations, LEAP supports 50 athletes each year.

Lincolnshire’s Paralympic visually impaired ski racer, Jade Etherington, has been on the LEAP programme for two years and since her success at the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics, has become an ambassador for the programme.

On her return from her record-breaking performance in Sochi, Jade spoke to The Lincolnite about how lack of funding has put her future representing Great Britain into question.

Paralympic medalist Jade Etherington said she is unsure what future her sporting career holds and whether the support will be there in four years time. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite
Paralympic medalist Jade Etherington said she is unsure what future her sporting career holds and whether the support will be there in four years time. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Janet Inman, CEO at the Lincolnshire Sport, said: “Jade is a perfect example of how important this programme is to our local athletes.

“The current UK sports system provides funding for top-end elite performers through Lottery funding, but the tier below that has what could be best described as ‘patchwork’ support.

“LEAP offers a better, more consistent level of support to that level of performer in Lincolnshire. I would encourage all athletes who are at county level and above to apply.”

Lincolnshire Sport’s current 2014 LEAP athletes will be at the Waterside Shopping Centre Monday to Friday from July 28 to August 1, challenging the public to sporting challenges, fundraising and helping to raise the profile of the programme.