Four English skiers and a snowboarder have been awarded funding or support through the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme (HTAS) for 2015, which has seen over 200 new athletes accepted on the scheme across a range of different sports. …

Will Wheeler, a Ski Cross athlete is one of 56 athletes to receive a full package from HTAS, with snowboarder Ethan Smith and Alpine skiers Sarah Woodward and Toby Case also receiving support from the scheme.

Will Wheeler said: “The Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme has supported me through the recovery of injuries with free physiotherapy and has helped me improve my strength and conditioning by supporting me at the gym at Solent University in Southampton, as well as free access to my local gyms to train at each week. This year I have been awarded financial support, which helps me to continue competing and travelling to races.”

Ian Findlay, Snowsport England Talent Officer said: “The Hampshire Talent Athlete Scheme has been a great supporter of snowsports athletes. We are delighted that four of our athletes have been awarded places on the scheme for 2015, including one who has been awarded the full package of support. We look forward to continuing our partnership with HTAS. The support will be of huge value to all athletes, in particular Will (England Ski Cross Squad) who will be travelling to Canada later this month to compete in NorAm Ski Cross events”

For 2015, HTAS has seen its funds doubled thanks to extra funding from Hampshire County Council’s Olympic Legacy Programme. 240 athletes have been accepted onto the scheme, which is co-ordinated by Sport Hampshire & IOW.

It is designed to support young athletes by helping to reduce the financial burden on them and their families, as well as encouraging their progression in their chosen sport. The level of support varies depending on the performance level of the athlete.

The chosen athletes can receive a range of benefits, including a monetary grant, free access to leisure centres, fast track physiotherapy, free bus travel from local companies, Stagecoach, Bluestar and First as well as sports science support from Southampton Solent University. Regional and county level performers can also benefit from fast track physiotherapy services. 

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education said: “In Hampshire every young person matters. We want them to all achieve their sporting potential, whether they become an Olympic athlete or whether to take up a sport for their pleasure for the rest of their lives. There are educational benefits and health benefits by being active and we believe that sport is of the maximum importance for the full development of young people in Hampshire. Hampshire County Council has over the years put millions of pounds into sporting facilities for our schools and supports the Hampshire Schools Partnership which hosts the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Games every year, in which all schools, whether in the private sector, or the public sector, are invited to participate.”

 

Athletes can apply to HTAS all year round for support services. Please visit www.sporthampshireiow.co.uk/talentedathletes