Sporting Centre Of Excellence Photo 2

Date published: 13th October 2017

The second year of a sporting excellence programme in North Norfolk will be launched next week as it continues to go from strength to strength.

About 80 youngsters will be at Gresham’s School, Holt, on Monday for the unveiling of the Sporting Centre of Excellence scheme, which is being funded by North Norfolk District Council.

The aim of the programme is to help young people who have the potential to excel in a sport and give them an excellent coaching experience and the opportunity to achieve their sporting dreams.

Last year’s pilot saw more than 70 youngsters, aged 11 to 14, attend 24 weeks of coaching at Gresham’s. They were given specialist coaching across four sports - hockey, netball, cricket and running.

Although participants can stay on the programme for two years, about a quarter of those who signed up last year have already moved on to greater things and have signed up for clubs.

The success of the programme resulted in nine athletes being selected to represent Norfolk in cross-country; a haul of medals at the Norfolk Track and Field Championships; three cricketers picked for county squad training sessions; and hockey and netball players invited to join top clubs. All the district’s secondary schools were represented and all the children who took part in the scheme showed improvement.

Last weekend there was further success for the scheme, with three boys excelling at the National Autumn Road Relays. The under-13s team only narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth out of nearly 70 teams.

Cllr Maggie Prior, North Norfolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Sport & Leisure, said: “The Sporting Centre of Excellence scheme was a huge success last year, and this year promises to be just as good. It is great that we have been able to help so many children build on their many talents and reach the next level.”

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of NNDC, said: “The wonderful achievements of so many of last year’s participants highlights just how successful the scheme was, and I’m delighted that so many youngsters are signed up for this year’s programme.”

Steve Adams, Gresham’s Sports Development Director, added: “It is fantastic to see that working together with North Norfolk District Council to support young athletes in realising their potential has been the success we hoped for when the idea was first discussed.

“The athletes can be proud of their achievements so far, and our first-class coaching staff look forward to supporting many more as the programme enters its second year.”

Last updated: 13th October 2017