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Stars of the future can follow Lee Thompson with grant help

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Prospective Olympians and Paralympians of tomorrow could get a helping hand with funding to support them in their chosen sport.

Carlton in Lindrick athlete Lee Thompson (pictured above) was one of the delighted recipients last year and the latest round of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Talented Athletes Fund is open until 15th October (5pm) offering grants of up to £400 for county athletes who have represented their country in the last year.

Ambitious Thompson, 21, benefited from the award last year and is currently part of City of Sheffield and Dearne Athletics Club, and trains six days a week, eight times a week.

He said: “I think the thing I am most passionate about within the sport is definitely winning. And another is reaching the Olympic Games, I think this is the same for most in their respective sports!

“In five years, I would ideally see myself as one of the top 400m runners in the UK, consistently.

“I would also like to picture myself as an Olympian and have a few medals to my name in either Europeans, Worlds or Olympics.”

He first got into athletics after competing at the Mason Cup when he was a school leaver aged 16, and then joined Rotherham Harriers later that summer.

In 2017, he was European U23 Championships 4x400 Champion.

This year he has become National Indoor British Champion, World Indoor Championships Individual Semi Finalist and Relay Finalist.

He was also the only male Brit to be selected for the 400 individual at the World Indoor Athletics Championships.

Away from athletics, Lee works full time for Wilko’s at their head office in Worksop, as a finance analyst.

He is supported by parents Sally, 48, and Phil, 57, Grandma Pat, 79, and girlfriend Hannah, 20, who support him wherever he competes, and he is also supported by his coach John Henson.

The Talented Athletes Fund is part of the County Council’s Local Improvement Scheme which offers financial help and support to local communities.

Grants are available to pay for travel, training, accommodation, competition and coaching fees and kit costs.

The county council awarded 65 grants worth more than £23,000 in grants last year.

Applicants must live in Nottinghamshire – please read the ‘Talented Athletes Fund Application Guidelines’ for full details of the criteria for funding, which is available to download from the County Council’s website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/talented.