A PARTNERSHIP to help support Ashbourne’s future sports stars has been given a funding boost.
Derbyshire County Council has agreed to continue with financial contributions to a partnership which aims to make the region one of the most active and successful sporting counties by 2020.
The Derbyshire Institute of Sport Partnership, made up of the county council, city council and the University of Derby, wants to help more local performers compete at national and international levels.
Councillor Paul Smith, who is on the programme’s management committee, said: “Thanks to initiatives like this I hope that someday in the future one of those young people standing on the winner’s podium at a major sporting event or the Olympics will be from Derbyshire.
“The Sport Partnership has been a great success leading to improvements in results among young people.
“The youngsters who have been helped often go on to become positive role models for their friends, in their communities and beyond.
“Sport can play a positive role in the lives of young people, help keep them healthy and provide all kinds of opportunities.
“The council is keen to support access for all people, regardless of ability.”
The partnership, which has been running for three years, has three key ambitions, to increase participation, to develop talent and to encourage and support youngsters to represent their county and their country in major sporting championships and the Olympics.
The partnership is already helping young people who compete at regional and national level but who do not qualify for National Lottery funding.
It has helped to improve levels of coaching as well as gain access to sports science and better medical support in recent years.
The programme is led by Derbyshire’s Andy Wood, one of the country’s top performance coaches, working with local schools and national governing bodies.
There is recognition that despite the success already achieved more could be done to continue improving opportunities and support.
The council has agreed to continue contributing £50,000 a year for the next three years.
In addition to this it has agreed to make a further contribution to the project with a one-off sum of £60,000.
This commitment is conditional on similar funding being agreed from the project’s other partners.