Amber Valley athletes receive ICON funding to help make sports dreams come true

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Some of the most promising sports performers in the Amber Valley Borough have been handed a share of £5,175 in grants from business network ICON to help them chase their dreams.

The chosen 27 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.

Amongst the athletes to benefit are Alex Holmes (16), from Ripley, who shoots in the compound bow discipline for Derwent Bowmen, has achieved team first place and individual third place at the Junior Outdoor National Championships and is a member of the GB Youth Development Squad and East Midlands Archery Squad.

Hollie Smith (13), from Heanor, is a member of Derwent Bowmen and won the Junior Outdoor Nationals with a new national record maximum score, finished third in the indoor nationals and is part of the GB Compound Youth Development Squad.

Isobel Beighton (19), from Codnor Park, near Ironville plays for Ripley Falcons Netball Club and has captained Loughborough Lightning National Performance League squad for the past two years, with ambitions to move up into the National Super League (NSL) squad.

Cherese Naylor (16), from Codnor, is a member of Ripley Netball Club and the East Midlands Regional Performance Academy and has earned a place in Loughborough Lightning National Performance League Squad.

Hannah Jones (17), from Ripley, is a member of the Derventio eXcel Swimming Club and is part of England Talent Pathways and Derbyshire Institute of Sport programmes, specialising in the 200m butterfly, having completed in the British Championships for the past six years.

Harvey Martin (15), from Alfreton, was joint Huub Design Junior Sportsperson of the Year at the 2014 Derbyshire Sports Awards. He is a member at Ogston Sailing Club and is on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport programme, teaming up with Bobby Hewitt to win the national title, European Championships, Crown Cup and World Championships in the RS Feva Class.

Roscoe Martin (13), from Alfreton, is a member at Ogston Sailing Club, finishing first at the RS Tera Sport European Championships competing for Team GB and second in the bronze fleet at RS Feva World Championships and fourth in the National Championships.

Richard Weir (30), from Riddings, is a member of Derby AC, who has finished fourth in the 3000m race of the British Indoor Athletics Championships, fifth in the outdoor equivalent over 1,500m and was selected for England after setting a new 10k personal best of 29.33.

Max Foord (18), from Swanwick, set a new world record in winning the European Championships Raw Teen Bench Press 75kg category before lifting the World and British Powerlifting titles,

Gracie Martin (17), from Alfreton, is a GB Junior Bouldering team member who was 16th when representing Great Britain in the European Youth Cup and has claimed second and third places in rounds of the Junior British Bouldering Championships.

Charlie Young (13), from Riddings, who trains at the Alliance Derby Club, has won a silver medal representing his country at the Belgium International and was first in the U12s British Open, which has helped him become a member of the England Pre-Cadet Squad.

Coun Tony Holmes, Amber Valley Borough Council’s portfolio holder for Housing and Public Health, said: “More athletes on the ICON programme this year have come from Amber Valley than any other area of the county, which underlines just how much top-class sporting talent we have right on our doorstep.

“We’ve all taken great delight in the great success of our sporting stars at the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, including medal success for former ICON recipients such as Adam Peaty and Liam Pitchford, and it’s important that we support legacies from those events in our communities.”

Amber Valley Borough Council is 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 Olympics in Derbyshire.

Each ICON member, which also includes Amber Valley School Sport Partnership, contributes an annual membership fee, and this money goes directly to athletes through the bursary scheme.