Amber Valley’s ICON athletes out to emulate Rio medallists Peaty and White

Some of the Amber Valley’s most talented sports stars have been inducted onto the 2016-17 ICON programme that boasts summer Olympic and Paralympic medallists Adam Peaty and Lewis White as previous recipients.

A total of 23 athletes have shared £3,800 of backing, which they can use to help meet travel, equipment, coaching or competition costs in the coming 12 months.

Each athlete has also been handed a leisure voucher by Places for People Leisure, which will further help with their training.

They received their bursaries in front of councillors at a ceremony held at the Town Hall, Ripley, last night (November 16).

All of the athletes are tipped for further success in their respective sports and have either been selected to compete for Great Britain or a home nation, have won a national championship medal, are part of a recognised national development squad or club academy structure or are a member of the Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS).

Those to receive ICON backing include athletes Emily Coope (Kilburn), Alex Knibbs (Duffield), Jethro McGraw (Belper), Lily Naylor (Ripley), Katie Rowe (Alfreton), Jessica Turner (Denby) and Richard Weir (Riddings) and archers Struan Caughey (Duffield), Lauryn Jewkes (Kilburn) and Hollie Smith (Heanor).

Also supported by the programme are sailing brothers Harvey Martin and Roscoe Martin (both Alfreton), life savers Emily Field (Crich) and Jessica Hancock (Denby), badminton player Grace King (Quarndon), basketball player Charlie Brown (Belper) and cyclist James Shaw (Heanor).

Horseball competitor Benjamin Berry (Mackworth), hockey player Kathryn Lane (Belper), judo exponent Charlie Young (Riddings), swimmer Jamie Ingram (South Wingfield), taekwondo competitor Alice Johnson (Kilburn) and weightlifter Max Foord (Swanwick) complete the list of those being backed. 

Andrea Stone, of programme administrators Derbyshire Sport, spoke to explain how the ICON system works, while Cllr David Taylor, Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Health at Amber Valley Borough Council, met athletes to hand over their bursary cheques and leisure vouchers.

"Talented athletes from across the county, including in Amber Valley, have to give up so much, make huge sacrifices and, in many cases, travel great distances to compete," Cllr Taylor said.

"Any help that the ICON programme can give them to make their task that little but easier is no more than they deserve."

Amber Valley Borough Council is among 10 local authorities across the county who are members of ICON, which was set up by Derbyshire Sport as part of the work to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympics in Derbyshire.

Since then, the programme has supported 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Caroline Povey (shooting), 2015 European Games gold medallist Abbie Wood (swimming) and 2016 Olympians Liam Pitchford (table tennis) and Molly Renshaw (swimming), in addition to swimming stars Peaty and White.

Find out more about ICON by going to www.derbyshiresport.co.uk/icon

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