The Scottish Commonwealth Games Youth Trust today announced the first nine recipients of awards up to £1000 per athlete from the PHM Scholarship Support Fund.
This is a new source of additional athlete support funding which is being administered by the Commonwealth Games Scotland Youth Trust, following support from a private individual impressed by the potential of Scotland’s young athletes.
Support has been made available for up to 12 prospective Commonwealth Games athletes under the age of 26, towards their preparation for events leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and beyond. Athletes have been selected based on their performances at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Whilst the award is made for an initial one year period, an in principle commitment is made for a further two years, subject to satisfactory progress being made against agreed goals set. This longer-term commitment gives athletes greater security and allows them to focus fully on their training and competition. Care has also been taken to ensure that this funding provides an enhanced level of support and does not duplicate funding awarded by other providers.
Those athletes benefiting from this new initiative are:
Zoey Clark (17), Aberdeen – £1000
Tom Holligan (17), Edinburgh – £900
Charlie Flynn (18), Motherwell – £800
Mark McKeown (17), Coatbridge – £1000
Kieran Smith (18), Greenrigg – £1000
Grant Ferguson (18), Peebles – £850
Kirsty Gilmour (18), Bothwell – £950
Craig Benson (17), Livingston – £1000
Emily Jones (16), Inverurie – £1000
Six of the athletes won medals at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games, and all of them have had success at junior national and international level and demonstrated the potential to go on to represent Scotland at future Commonwealth Games.
The funding will be put to a range of good uses, but focused on helping with living costs and special dietary requirements, purchasing kit and equipment, assisting with travel costs to training and competition or even for areas of personal development.
Welcoming the new initiative, Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of the Scottish Commonwealth Games Youth Trust said: “We are truly indebted to this individual who has recognised the potential that so many of our young athletes in Scotland have. It is fantastic that he has personally stepped forward to support a number of them on an ongoing basis in order to help secure their sporting future. This is a crucial time in their development when it would be easy for external factors such as cost to influence their decision whether to quit, or continue and flourish in their chosen sport.
“I have no doubt that his generosity will help to make a significant difference and allow these athletes to fully focus on realising their sporting aspirations. I know he will follow their progress with interest and will gain great satisfaction from seeing them achieve great things for Scotland.”
Excited to be receiving £1000 towards driving lessons and the cost of running a car, triple gold medallist at the Commonwealth Youth Games, swimmer Craig Benson said: “This is fantastic news. This funding will make a massive difference to me helping me to become self-sufficient getting to and from training. The amount of support that my family gives me is huge and to make it easier financially for them would be amazing.”
Fellow swimmer Emily Jones added: “To receive this funding would be a great boost for me. I know I have the full support of my family, but to know that there is support of this kind from an organisation is incredible, it would mean that others have the belief in my abilities, and this would make me even more determined than ever succeed and achieve my goals.”
With a ten year commitment given to the PHM Scholarship Support Fund this is great news for Scottish athletes.