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The Islands Athlete Travel Award Scheme allows up to eight elite athletes from the Outer Hebrides the opportunity to benefit from the program designed to support travel costs in the islands.
The aim of this scheme is to help the elite athletes of the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland to gain better access to competitive and developmental opportunities available on the mainland.
The eight individuals will receive £1,500 per person and awards will be allocated through an application process, with athletes required to evidence how the grant will improve their performance, provide them access to quality training opportunities and improve their sports or club environment.
The sportscotland organisation has allocated each of the three local authorities £10k, with the councils then required to top this up with £2k of their own funding plus the equivalent of £3k of management and administrative time.
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive, sportscotland, said: ‘At sportscotland we recognise the specific challenges faced by island athletes. That’s why we are delighted to continue support for the Island Athlete Travel Scheme, in partnership with the island councils.
‘By working together we can deliver services locally through the sportscotland institute of sport in the Outer Hebrides while providing additional support to allow talented athletes to travel to competitions and progress in their chosen sport.
‘It’s fantastic to hear that the athletes who received awards last year have benefitted and we look forward to working with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to support more island athletes.’
Councillor Angus McCormack, Chairman of the Education, Sport and Children’s Services Committee, added: ‘The Athlete Travel Award Scheme has been a fantastic addition to the support the Comhairle is able to provide our elite athletes. The feedback from the first year has been very encouraging and I would anticipate a high level of applicants for this year’s grants.
‘sportscotland has become a valued partner over the years in our efforts to encourage our young people to get involved in sport and activities, and we are delighted that they have agreed to continue their support of this scheme.’