Prize money would be ‘a game-changer’ for Derbyshire athletics club

***Free photo for editorial print and on-line use***''15/05/17''UK Pentathlon athlete Niamh Emerson joins with Persimmon Homes regional managers, Liam Scott and Neil Follows, to mark the launch of the company's 'Healthy Communities' scheme, where they will donate �500 every month to local sports club to encourage kids to get into sport and as a way to give back to communities in which they build. Photographed at Persimmon Homes new development Buttercup Leys, at Boulton Moor'Derby.'''''All Rights Reserved: F Stop Press Ltd. +44(0)1773 550665

Amber Valley and Erewash Athletics Club is in with a shot of winning a “game-changing” £200,000 in a national competition.

The Derbyshire club’s chances of taking the pot of gold depends on the number of votes they receive - and officials are urging residents to help their cause.

AVEAC was formed in 1999 and is responsible for developing young athletics talents such as prospect Niamh Emerson.

Club secretary Julie Feeney said: “We were ecstatic to hear that we’d made it through to the regional finals, the news came at a great time as we were looking to raise funds for new equipment.

“We have approximately 25 trained coaches and 40 volunteers who support our club with over 10,000 unpaid hours per year so that our athletes can train, compete and socialise.

“We are now urging people to back us in this competition and take the time to vote as such a large amount of money would be a real game changer for our group.”

Emerson, current Commonwealth Youth high jump gold medalist and under-18 British record holder in the heptathlon, remains a club member.

Niamh, said: “It’s because of continued support and funding that I have been able to progress through my sport.

“The early years of any young athlete is crucial to their development and schemes such as this one can support the volunteers who are vital to ensuring the development of the athletes.”

AVEAC are one of 30 finalists competing for the top prize with the winner to be announced at a gala dinner at York Racecourse on Thursday 22nd March.

The two runners-up will each win £50,000 while the remaining 27 finalists will receive £5,000 in a scheme - Healthy Communities - launched by Persimmon Homes.

Visit to cast your vote before voting closes on 16th March.

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