More potential sports stars benefit from Wigan Council’s Believe Talent Fund

Rising sports stars from across Wigan borough have been given a boost with their budding careers thanks to the Believe Talent Fund.
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Fifteen promising young athletes have received council grants of up to £500 to help them realise their full potential.

Previous recipients include Atherton-born European champion and Olympic, World and Commonwealth silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson.

Coun Chris Ready, Wigan Council’s portfolio holder for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “We absolutely love our sport in Wigan borough and we’re so proud to be a hotbed of incredible sporting talent.

The Mayor of Wigan Coun Marie Morgan and Coun Chris Ready with the latest recipients of Believe Talent Fund grantsThe Mayor of Wigan Coun Marie Morgan and Coun Chris Ready with the latest recipients of Believe Talent Fund grants
The Mayor of Wigan Coun Marie Morgan and Coun Chris Ready with the latest recipients of Believe Talent Fund grants
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“The Believe Talent Fund is all about supporting the next generation to fulfil their potential by competing on the national and international stage, and by doing so to inspire others to get active and participate in sport.

“With the rising cost of living, it’s never been more important that our young people get the helping hand they need to achieve their dreams.

"The money can help with travel costs, accommodation, training and equipment, leaving our promising athletes to concentrate on giving it their all.”

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The Believe Talent Fund has now helped 115 promising athletes since its launch in 2015, with grants totalling more than £55,000.

Other notable achievers include pole vaulter Harry Coppell and wrestler Charlie Bowling - both of whom have won Commonwealth bronze - as well as Olympic high jumper Emily Borthwick.

Those supported this time include top touch rugby prospects Annie Ainscough,17, Jacob Rigby, 18, and Isaac Wheatley, 18, Aspull Wrestling Club grappler Oliver Sturrup ,17, and 15-year-old gymnast Harvey Lawrence.

Wigan BEST pair Evie Cutter and Alfie Owen, and fellow swimmer Olivia Edgar of Chorley Marlins (all aged 14) will be aiming to make a splash with their respective clubs, while there’s also funding for Toryn Christy, 14, of the Devils Inline Hockey Club, Trafford Athletics Club’s Beth Pendlebury, 14, and Leigh Harriers duo 12-year-old Lois Melling and 11-year-old Thierry Kerr.

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Karate kids Anya Foxwell,13, Harvey Joe Cooper, 14, and Tyler Cooper, 11, have also received grants to enable them to compete in upcoming martial arts tournaments.

Coun Ready added: “We look forward to seeing them take their next steps to sporting stardom and they can rest assured we’re behind them all the way!

“We’re also delighted to have recently extended our support for the Believe Talent Fund until at least 2024 as part of The Deal For Communities.”

The Believe Talent Fund is open to athletes deemed by their sport's national governing body to be of national standard or to have the potential to reach that level within a year of applying.

Recipients must be aged 11 to 24, reside in the borough and require financial assistance to participate in their chosen sport.

Athletes with disabilities can also apply irrespective of age.

Two further rounds of funding will open for applications later this year.

For more information and full eligibility criteria visit