Young South Norfolk sporting stars given boost

More than 40 young sporting stars and up-and-coming coaches across south Norfolk have received a financial boost towards their training and competitions following an awards ceremony.

Funding worth �8,000 was distributed to youngsters during South Norfolk Council's third annual Community Sports Achiever Awards.

The awards and grants were handed out by former marathon runner and Olympic finalist Paul Evans and under 17 national javelin champion Laura McDonald at the ceremony at the Apollo Club, in Harleston.

Mr Evans, a 'Dare 2 Dream' sporting ambassador, praised the 'enthusiasm and dedication of the young people and their parents' and the commitment of South Norfolk Council in nurturing local sporting talent.

Miss McDonald, who received support through the sports achiever awards, added: 'These awards are laying the foundation for sport among young people especially when they are at that age when there is a difficult balance to be struck between sport and the other demands on their life and time. This is helping them stay in sport at an age where their talents can often go unnoticed.'

As well as the grants for talented young athletes, South Norfolk Council introduced the Community Coach Bursary Scheme, which helped five young people to gain advanced sports coaching qualifications.

Martin Wilby, South Norfolk Council deputy leader, added: 'In an age where it is easy to knock young people, I'm incredibly proud to note that the majority of recipients of these grants are still teenagers, demonstrating young people's willingness to get involved in volunteering and giving something back to their clubs and communities.'

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Award winners also received a signed photo from Dame Kelly Holmes with their certificates and cheques. The awards were run in conjunction with the Norfolk Community Foundation.