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L-R: Wightlink's Stuart James, Harrison Hendy, Jenny Ball and the Council's Alec Broome

The Isle of Wight Council’s Talented Athlete Programme sponsored discount scheme is now open for budding Island sporting stars.

The Council’s sports unit is now accepting applications for the 2018 scheme, which is aimed at helping gifted sports people reach their full potential and achieve further success by providing discounted access to a whole host of services.

Talented athletes who meet the scheme’s criteria will also be able to use the Council’s leisure centres free of charge and receive discounts in selected local retailers, physio and chiropractic services, as well as much needed discounted travel on Wightlink and assisted bus travel with Southern Vectis.

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Last year’s programme helped nearly 70 athletes, providing support worth an estimated £142,022. The youngest was cyclist Harrison Hendy, 8, and the oldest swimmer Jenny Ball, 79.

Councillor John Hobart, Cabinet member for environment and heritage says:

“The scheme seeks to give support and encouragement to our home-grown sportsmen and sportswomen of all ages so they can achieve the very best they can without having to worry about the costs of using leisure facilities or travelling around the Island and to the mainland.

“I would urge our home-grown stars to take advantage of the s cheme and I would also like to thank our sponsorship partners for coming on board again and helping us to continue to support Island future athletic stars.”

Wightlink Marketing and Innovation Director, Stuart James adds:

“We know that in order to pursue training or competition it is often necessary for Island sportspeople to travel to the mainland – we are doing our bit to ensure that the need to cross the Solent is not a barrier to progress. We are delighted to continue our support for the Talented Athletes programme.”

For young people currently competing at a Hampshire county level or above, the scheme provides support to access and train for top level competition within their chosen sport. The scheme offers the same support for adults who are representing England or Great Britain, or those who are recognised by their sport governing body as a potential talent.

To check your eligibility against the current criteria and to obtain an application pack, visit or email [email protected].

The application process closes on the 31st January 2018 and the successful applicants will be notified in February. The scheme is applicable to Isle of Wight residents only.

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