Cash grants available for athletes and artists

Published: Tuesday, 5th June 2018

Sports and arts bursaries

Budding future athletes and artists can be given a head start as the Royal Borough once again offers its sports and arts bursaries to help young people reach their potential.

The one-off payments have previously been used to help up-and-coming dancers perform on the national stage and young players gain, local, national and international recognition in their sport.

Grants are available to borough residents aged 25 and under and applications are open until Friday 22 June.

Alongside the funding for players and artists there is a separate cash pool available for those who work or volunteer as sport coaches and the annual lifetime achievement award to recognise a local sporting hero.

Cllr Samantha Rayner, cabinet member for culture and communities, said: “There is a wealth of talent in the young people of the borough and through the Royal Borough’s sports and arts bursaries we have been able to help them to reach their potential.

“We want to see our vibrant communities continue to thrive and helping the next generation to stay active and get creative through these bursaries is a great way of doing that.

“I would encourage anyone out there who could do with a little extra help to apply for a bursary today – it could be the extra push that helps you take your hobby to the next level.

“We’re also delighted to be able to help coaches continue the valuable work they do in our communities and recognise a local sporting hero through the lifetime achievement award. If there is someone you know who makes a difference to people’s lives through sport then let us know today.”

Tennis players Jemma Lancaster, 16, and her sister Eva, 12, of Maidenhead, both succeeded in getting grants in last year’s sports and arts bursaries. Jemma said: “I’ve used the money to help with training at Maidenhead Lawn Tennis Club and at Bisham Abbey.

“I have won regional competitions and taken part in national ones. I’m hoping I can get a tennis scholarship to head to an American University.

“I started tennis when I was eight so I’ve been playing for around eight years, always in this area.”

The sports bursaries typically help towards coaching fees, equipment and clothing, training courses and travel expenses and are worth up to £250.

Oscar Ainscough, 18, of Woodlands Park, has benefited from the arts bursaries for the last five years as he’s progressed towards becoming a professional dancer.

He said: “I’m really excited as I’m about to start my first ever job as a professional dancer at the Northern Ballet.

“The support from the council’s arts bursaries, Duell Hawes Foundation and Louis Baylis Trust helped me to meet the costs of training and getting to where I am today.”

The arts bursaries are split into three categories of performing arts (inc. music, dance, theatre), fine decorative arts (inc. photography, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting) and new media (inc. film and video).

The council’s grants have been match-funded in recent years by the Louis Baylis Trust, helping applicants pursue their hobbies even further.

Successful applicants will be presented with their grants and a certificate at a ceremony in August when the lifetime achievement award will also be presented.

For more information on applying for the sport and coaching bursaries, or to nominate for the lifetime achievement award see here.

For more on the art bursaries see here.

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