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Talented young athletes in North Kesteven earn recognition

By Sleaford Target  |  Posted: October 27, 2012

ACHIEVERS: Bethany Walker, Abigail Burr, Lauren Freeman, Emma Tonner, Craig Anderson and Lee Cupit, with sports partnership chief executive Janet Inman, council leader Marion Brighton, council chairman Ray Cucksey, Susan Waring, and leisure services manager Mike Lock.

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THE achievements of some of the area’s most talented young athletes have been recognised in a reception held at the North Kesteven Civic Suite.

North Kesteven District Council seeks to promote, inspire and support the development of sports participation and success, especially among younger residents and one aspect of this is through its contribution to the Lincolnshire Sports Partnership.

Nine young sports stars from North Kesteven have been funded and supported during the past year by the Sports Partnership’s Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme, ranging in age from 11 to 17.

Six of them were able to attend the Council reception held just weeks after the close of the Olympic and Paralympic Games - to celebrate a year of significant personal achievement.

They were, Washingborough swimmer Bethany Walker, 11, who received a Gold Medal at Ponds Forge and achieved many personal bests.

Swimmer Abigail Burr, 13, from Heighington, who had a hectic start to the year securing national qualifying times and a series of personal bests following on from some LEAP courses – including breaking a longstanding record held by Team GB swimmer Lizzie Simmonds

Lauren Freeman, 16, a swimmer from North Hykeham, who secured places in the National Youth Championships with top-three qualifying positions.

Kayaker Emma Tonner, 15, from North Hykeham, who has used LEAP funding to buy a new light weight boat to gain a competitive edge.

Sleaford rugby player Craig Anderson, 15, was selected to play for Leicester Tigers U15s in the spring through their Elite Player Development Programme and continues to make a mark with the Sleaford U16 squad.

Scopwick shot-putter Lee Cupit, 17, won Gold in the UK School Games held at the Olympic Park within a series of strong competitive results.

Council leader Marion Brighton said: “We were very pleased to be able to celebrate these sporting successes and show our support for such promising hopefuls as they strive for international recognition.

“We are very proud that during the past year, North Kesteven has had nine athletes on the programme, the largest number of all but one of the Lincolnshire districts, and look forward with interest to the announcement at the end of the year to see who will be supported through LEAP in 2013 to progress their sporting ambitions.”

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