The funding has been a great success in the sporting community the last three years. Source: Braden Collum on Unsplash.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s project to help young athletes fulfil their sporting potential has reached its final year of action.

The venture was introduced back in 2018 and has annually offered grants of up to £400 to Nottinghamshire athletes for their chosen sport.

The funding, which was approved for the last time on the 4th February, has been a part of the County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme which offers financial support to local communities.

The grant aids in any costs associated with the Athletes’ sport; such as purchasing equipment, training, coaching, competition fees and travel.

Councillor Derek Higton said that it has been a “valued scheme” that has provided “much needed support” for young athletes and their families.

The Council have awarded over 150 athletes over the last two years, with grants totalling over £40,000, and a further 75 athletes have been recommended for 2021 funding.

But the scheme was always set to end this year, despite the positive impacts it has had on the sporting community.

The funding helped Barney Corrall when he was no longer able to train in outdoor long-jump areas. Source: Jo Corrall.

Barney Corrall, 20 from West Bridgford, was one of the successful recipients of the cause.

The young man suffered a stroke when he was a baby and was diagnosed with right-sided hemiplegia – a condition that affects movement on one side of his body – and cerebral palsy.

He defied medical odds and has since won a gold medal at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland for long-jump, with dreams of entering the Paralympics in 2024.

Amidst COVID-19, his training and competitions have come to a halt.

He said: “With the money I received from the Talented Athletes Fund I was able to buy plenty of gym equipment and train at home.

“Throughout the pandemic I’ve been training four times a week.

“With my disability it’s so important to keep up my strength, focus, fitness, self-belief and confidence – the equipment enabled me to do that.”

His mum, Jo Corral, 50, said: “I’m really sad to hear this scheme is coming to an end.

“Funding like this really does make a huge difference.”