The FAST Fund exists to provide financial support to Teesside’s talented sportspeople who have the ability to reach the very top in their chosen sport.

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Image Credit: The Gazette

FAST Fund – the story so far

1st September, 2017

Teesside Philanthropic Foundation’s FAST Fund reached a significant milestone in September 2017 – sharing £50,000 in grants between 50 local sportspeople who have the talent but not necessarily the finances to reach the top in their chosen sport.

The FAST Fund – which stands for Financial Assistance for Sportspeople on Teesside – has made much-needed grant donations to athletes, swimmers, cyclists, powerchair footballers, boxers, canoeists, rugby players, ice hockey players, martial artists, footballers, wheelchair basketball players and many more.

Many of the winners gathered for a celebratory photograph at Middlesbrough Sports

Village, with sprinter Amy Carr receiving a trophy for her achievements since receiving £2,000 from the FAST Fund.

Eaglescliffe Under-20 athlete Amy, who has cerebral palsy, is a triple IPC World Junior Championships medallist and went on to represent Scotland in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

She said: “The FAST Fund grant has been a massive help to me, helping to pay for ongoing physiotherapy costs. I’m certain I wouldn’t achieved what I have done without it.

“I’m really honoured to receive recognition from the FAST Fund ahead of so many talented local sportspeople.”

Acklam Grange student Josh Cowperthwaite said his £1,100 FAST Fund grant had covered the cost of high quality trainers and running shoes that helped him win 3,000m gold at the Schools Games National Finals and the 2017 Junior Great North Run.

Josh, whose ambition is to run for his country at the Olympics or World Championships, said: “The FAST Fund’s help has made a big impact on my running.

“There’s no way I’d have been able to get top-of-the-range running shoes without the grant.”

Teenage BMX star Mary Johnson received £1,000 from the FAST Fund to purchase a portable start-gate to practice her starts, and won back her British Championship title to go with her first National Series success.

Visually impaired tennis champion Rosine Pybus, who attended the photo shoot with her constant companion Kane, a Labrador-Golden Retriever cross, received £380 for expensive sound balls imported from Japan.

The 25-year-old said: “The FAST Fund is absolutely brilliant. The sound balls I train with are imported from Japan but quickly break up, so the cost soon mounts up at £10 each. My grant really helped with a big cost.”

Teesside’s three-times Olympic long jumper Chris Tomlinson sits on a committee who administrate the FAST Fund grants along with athletics coach Rick Betts and Philanthropic Foundation trustees Emma Simkins, Karl Pemberton, Harriet Spalding and Lee Bramley.

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