Among the latest recipients of grants from the Philanthropic Foundation’s FAST Fund are twins who are both judo champions, two track athletes, a pole vaulter, a hammer/javelin thrower, a swimmer, a boxer, a canoeist, a rugby player, a basketball player and a visually impaired tennis player.
The FAST Fund – which stands for Financial Assistance for Sportspeople on Teesside – was set up by the Foundation to inspire locals who have the ability but not the finances to reach the very top in their chosen sport.
Judo twins Rachel and Eve Jackson, from Thornaby Pavilion Judo Club, are in their third year as members of the England squad after the 14-year-old finished last season as the British number 1 and 2 respectively in their age and weight category. They shared a FAST Fund grant of £2,000.
Middlesbrough swimmer Perry Gardner, twice British 200m backstroke champion for his age-group and a 2016 Olympic trials qualifier, was one of two applicants to receive £2,000.
Teenage sprinter Amy Carr, who has cerebral palsy, also received £2,000 on retaining her national junior title for 200m and rising to a ranking of sixth in the world in the T37 classification.
£1,500 was donated to pole vaulter Charlie Myers, from Marton, who finished fourth in the British Indoor Championships during his first season competing at senior level. The 19-year-old aims to qualify for the under-23 European Championships this season and challenge to reach the Commonwealth Games.
Grant donations were also made to boxer William Howe, rugby player Innes Hill, runner Rebecca Tilley, hammer/javelin thrower Daniel Nixon, Eve Ovington (canoe slalom).
Grants were also awarded from the Philanthropic Foundation’s new Disability FAST Fund to basketball player Callum Taylor and visually impaired tennis player Rosine Pybus.