Tuesday, 22 February 2011

On the hunt for Solihull’s sporting STARS

Some current STARS – from left: swimmer Elliott Glenn (16), hurdler Madelaine Smith (16), footballer Jack Rose (15), high jumper Josh Hill (14)triathlete Alex Teagle (16) and badminton player William Kitching (14) – launch this year’s scheme with the help of Nick Garnett from Solihull Council (far left) and Tudor Grange Leisure Centre manager Simon James (far right).
Sporty Silhillians are once again being offered a year of free access to training facilities, with the return of a special scheme.

Solihull Talented Athlete Recognition Scheme (STARS) - which offers a year of free access to facilities at Tudor Grange and North Solihull Leisure Centres to residents achieving at least regional standard in their sport - is looking for applicants for its 2011-2012 intake.

There are 25 spots up for grabs to any borough resident of any age in any sport.

One of last year’s STARS is Madelaine Smith, 16, one of the top three sprint hurdlers in the UK for her age group.

She said: “I train four times a week at the track so not having to pay for it is a big help. I’ve also just been injured so I’ve been using the pool quite a lot to help my recovery.

“STARS is really good, it encourages you to come and train a lot more. I’ve found it so much easier.”

15-year-old Jack Rose keeps goal for West Bromwich Albion’s under 16s team and last October made his England under 16s debut against Wales.

He said: “When I was snowed in and couldn’t get to training I was able to come here and use the gym to stay fit. I’d recommend STARS to anyone because the facilities are great.”

Councillor Graham Craig, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “As we move into an Olympic year, sport is going to be a big talking point and we want to do everything we can to help the borough’s sportspeople achieve as highly as possible. I would encourage anyone achieving at least regional standard in their sport to take advantage of this excellent scheme and apply.”

Applications for the 2011-2012 STARS intake are now open, with a deadline of Friday 1 April.

For more information and to download the application form, visit www.solihullactive.co.uk/stars.

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