Nine Grantham area youngsters on Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme for next year

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Nine local athletes have been accepted on to the Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme (LEAP) for 2013.

Managed by Lincolnshire Sports Partnership and supported by local Authorities, businesses and organisations from across the county, LEAP provides funding and support for talented sportsmen and women in Lincolnshire.

Swimmer Oliver Bitowt, athletes Joshua Brown and Millie Cooper, and rowers George Mitchell and Luke Wren from Grantham, have all been selected for the programme next year. Also on LEAP for 2013 are the Churchill sisters – water polo player Eloise and table tennis player Olivia from Hough-on-the-Hill, triathlete, tetrathlete and pentathlete James Walton from Foston, and international hockey player Shona McCallin from Dry Doddington.

A total of £20,000 will be distributed to 50 athletes on the programme who will receive grants between £100 and £1,000 to support their development over the next 12 months. They will also be invited to a number of training courses and events throughout 2013.

LSP LEAP project officer Rachel Belcher said: “In 2013, we have pledged to support 50 talented athletes from across Lincolnshire. We will support them on their journey to be the best they can be, with financial incentives, training courses and more, to support them in reaching their sporting dream.”

Thirty different sports will be represented on LEAP in 2013 including some of the most popular sports this year such as athletics, cycling and swimming, but also others including Alpine skiing, archery, golf and shooting. Athletes from all seven districts across Lincolnshire will receive support from the programme.