Five Youth Team Scotland athletes have been added to the list of recipients of the PHM Scholarship Support Fund for 2016, following impressive performances at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa last September.
With ten athletes retained on the programme, including fellow Youth Games team member Rowan Morrogh Bernard and Glasgow 2014 medallist Reece McFadden, the 15 athletes named represent the largest group of athletes supported by the fund since its inception in 2012.
This source of additional athlete support funding is administered by the Commonwealth Games Scotland Youth Trust, following support from a private individual impressed by the potential of Scotland’s young athletes. The fund provides awards of up to £1,000 to prospective Commonwealth Games athletes, under the age of 26, towards their preparation for events leading up to the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and beyond.
The current crop of talent will put their awards to a range of good uses including, purchasing kit and equipment, assisting with travel costs to training and competition or even for areas of personal development, as they seek to emulate past beneficiaries of the programme such as boxer Charlie Flynn, swimmer Craig Benson and badminton player Kirsty Gilmour.
Among those newly added to the programme is sprinter Cameron Tindle who, having made his mark at the Youth Games with a bronze in the 100m and 4th place in the 200m, has delivered a string of Scottish Records during the 2016 indoor season. During February he lowered not only the 200m junior record but also the senior mark, a remarkable feat at just 17 years of age.
“This funding will be essential to my development and goals,” said Cameron. “I have to travel daily to train, as my nearest track is over an hour away. Unfortunately there were some competitions last year I had to miss because of the cost. This will enable me to concentrate fully on my athletics without worrying about the financial side.”
Tennis player Ewen Lumsden, Scotland’s Athlete of the Games in Samoa with two silver medals and a win in the non-medal men’s doubles event, has continued his progress by being named in the GB team for the Europe Winter Cup. Only 15 in Samoa, he will be eligible to compete at the next Youth Games in the Bahamas in 2017 and plans to put his award towards travelling to higher level competition to continue his development.
Youth Games boxing medallist Kieran McMaster and lawn bowlers Carla Banks and Darren Weir complete the new additions.
Paul Bush OBE, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said; “CGS is truly indebted to this individual who continues to recognise the potential of young athletes in Scotland, and whose support has already delivered tangible benefits for many athletes. Several past recipients represented Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014, with three winning medals, and a few have realistic aspirations of Olympic places in Rio this summer.
“For our athletes making the transition from Youth Games to success at senior level, this is a crucial time in their development. Support of this kind, on an ongoing basis, allows them to fully focus on realising their sporting aspirations.”
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 agencies.
The full list of athletes receiving awards for 2016 is:
*Cameron Tindle (17) – Berwick Upon Tweed – £1,000
Kimberly Reed (21) – Edinburgh – £1,000
Adam Hall (20) – Mauchline – £1,000
Julie MacPherson (18) – Edinburgh – £1,000
*Carla Banks (17) – Inverurie – £700
*Darren Weir (17) – Prestwick – £700
Carrie McLean (17) – Auchinleck – £700
*Kieran McMaster (19) – Kilmarnock – £1,000
Reece McFadden (20) – Motherwell – £1,000
Lynsey Gallagher (23) – East Kilbride – £700
Greg Lobban (23) – Edinburgh – £1,000
Rory Stewart (19) – Edinburgh – £800
*Ewen Lumsden (16) – Lenzie – £1,000
Rowan Morrogh Bernard (15) – Pitlochry – £1,000
Ross Connelly (16) – Cumbernauld – £700
*Denotes newly added athletes for 2016