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Free Access to National Sports (FANS) - deadline looms

[Wednesday 24 November 2010]

Craven District Council is offering local talented athletes free membership of its facilities at Craven Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre.

The Free Access for National Sports (FANS) scheme aims to provide support and encouragement to the district’s elite athletes who are competing at a national level.

The health and fitness centre offers athletes a high quality facility that could complement their current training programme.

Councillor Ken Hart, Lead Member for Sport at the Council, said: “Craven Swimming pool and fitness centre is a flagship facility of the Council. By offering the FANS scheme we can do our bit to provide a Sporting Legacy to the London 2012 Games, by offering local talented athletes support in their sporting careers. Craven District already punches above its weight on the International, National and Regional Sporting stages and this scheme will provide even more support.”

There are currently 12 athletes who benefit from free membership. Membership will be for one year and assessed annually. There are 4 assessment criteria to help assess who should be offered the free membership. FANS athletes should be:

  • a senior (over 16) national team Great Britain or England or squad
  • listed in the top ten of any national over 14 age group ranking.
  • have been selected as part of an officially constituted National training squad or programme such as the “World Class” programme
  • a member of a current regional team or squad.
  • All sports must be a Sport England designated sport

Kathryn Wheelock has been a FANS member for the past two years and competes for the Irish Para Equestrian Dressage team. She had this to say about the FANS scheme and her goals for 2011/2012:

“I use the fitness centre as often as I can and in particular in the winter months when it is much more difficult to train on my horse. The staff at the centre are all extremely helpful and have helped to prepare a suitable exercise programme for me – this has improved my core stability which in turn improves my riding ability.”

“My aim next year is to maintain my place on the Irish High Performance Squad, to ride at the European Championships in Moorsele, Belgium and most important of all is to help an Irish team achieve qualification for the Paralympics – LONDON 2012.”

Applications for 2010 membership of the FANS scheme must be returned to the Council by 14 December. 25 local athletes have already been identified and invited and other athletes that feel they are eligible should contact the sports development officer, Bruce Dinsmore, for more information and an application form.

Bruce, a former international athlete, had this to say about the scheme: “With a very successful Beijing Olympic Games behind us all eyes turn to the London 2012 Olympics. Like in Beijing, there is a very real chance that athletes from Craven will be competing and winning medals. The FANS scheme is about supporting these athletes and those with future potential. The scheme is also used to create an Athlete photo board at the Pool which showcases the athletes and inspires others.”

Applications forms are available from Bruce Dinsmore, Craven Swimming Pool and on the Craven District Council -website: http://www.cravendc.gov.uk/Craven/Residents/Leisure/

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