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£700,000 funding boost for future North-East sporting stars
THE legacy of sporting success across the North-East looks destined to continue after the announcement of a £700,000 programme to nurture the stars of the future.
Sport England has revealed nine colleges in the region have been given funding to recruit seven sports professionals to mentor talented students.
The £735,000 cash windfall, from National Lottery funding, will pay for College Sport Makers to help students get into sport over the next five years.
Colleges including Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form, in Darlington, Middlesbrough College, Guisborough’s Prior Pursglove College, Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Redcar and Cleveland College, will all benefit from the move.
The programme comes on the back of the golden North-East Olympic successes of Ingleby Barwick rower Kat Copeland, Jarrow Paralympic swimming champion Josef Craig, and equestrian star Nicola Wilson, from Morton-on-Swale, near Northallerton, and coaches will help talented students join clubs across the region.
Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said the scheme would maintain the sporting momentum created by the successful London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
She said: “I am determined get more people playing sport and raising participation levels among young people is absolutely crucial.
“This will help do exactly that, it will getting more students in colleges up and down the country involved in sport."
The investment forms part of a £1b five-year plan to increase sports participation of youngsters across the country.
Len Stule, director of external funding at South Tyneside College, said he was delighted with the funding boost.
He said: “There is a significant groundswell of interest, from people of all ages, to participate in sport following the successful London Olympics and Paralympics.
“Sport Makers will support young people and those of a certain age to achieve their individual fitness goals in a friendly, welcoming and community environment.”