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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Backing found for sporting scholarship

THE development of young sports people in Tynedale has been given a boost following a sponsorship deal with a local business.

Rhianna Stoves, recipient of Stan Calvert Scholarship, Red Hot Property owner Gareth Jones and Sport Tynedale chairman Edward Heslop.

Hexham estate agent, Red Hot Property, has agreed to fund the Stan Calvert Scholarship, part of the popular Sport Tynedale Awards, for the next three years.

The £600 bursary is awarded to a promising young, amateur sports person within the district, and is aimed at helping the winner of the fund to progress further in their chosen discipline.

Red Hot owner Gareth Jones was keen to get on board after being invited to the 2013 awards ceremony.

He said: “I went last year for the first time and I was bowled over by the scale and depth of talent of youngsters in the area, and I think what Sport Tynedale does is superb in recognising and developing local talent.

“After it lost its sponsor last year, we were thrilled to take up the opportunity to get involved.

“When you look at some of the real superstars in the making we have in this area, it is a real privilege to be in a position to provide some support.”

The bursary has proved a huge boost to youngsters in the past, many of the winners going on to bigger and better things including Olympic rower Matt Wells.

Last year’s recipient was Hexham cyclist Rhianna Stoves who has put the money to good use as she continues to make waves on the national stage.

The 15-year-old Queen Elizabeth High School pupil said: “Since I got the scholarship, I have been able to enter all the national mountain bike series and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the bursary.

“Last year, I couldn’t enter them all as it’s too expensive but it is necessary to go to them all so you get noticed by the selectors.

“The scholarship is a great scheme and it has been a massive help to me, and I couldn’t have progressed without it.”

Sport Tynedale’s new chairman Edward Heslop was delighted Red Hot Property had agreed to help the organisation out.

He said: “Rhianna is a stunning example of the difference the scholarship can make and it allows young talented sports people to compete outside of the area, which is a little bit isolated.

“Anybody who comes and looks at the awards evening can see the huge amount of talent in the area, and we are very grateful for Gareth for this financial help for the next three years.”

Sport Tynedale, a volunteer-led organisation which awards grants to local, amateur sportsmen and women, relies on subscriptions from town and parish councils and sports clubs.