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Sport / Athlete travel award scheme open for applications

A SCHEME to support athletes in Shetland with travel costs to compete and train on the Scottish mainland has opened – with a “more flexible” selection process to reflect continued uncertainty over the sporting calendar for the rest of 2021 and the early part of next year.

The Islands Athlete Travel Award scheme aims to improve athletes’ access to competitions and development opportunities on the mainland, with candidates able to apply for sums up to £1,500.

The amount received will be based on an applicant’s competition and training schedule as well as their awareness of “where they are on their sports performance pathway”.

Due to uncertainty posed by the Covid-19 pandemic there is the potential for a second round of applications later in the year.

Applicants are asked to provide evidence as to how a grant will improve their performance, provide access to quality training opportunities and improve their sports or club environment.

Shetland Islands Council sports development officer Jack Clubb said: “We are delighted to be in a position to offer the scheme to local athletes to help them return to competition off island.

“In discussion with partners, we have taken into account current circumstances and adapted the scheme to allow athletes more flexibility when applying.

“It has been great to see how sports and athletes in Shetland have adapted over the past year and we hope to see local athletes continuing to be successful at home and off island in the coming months and years.”

Sportscotland chief executive Stewart Harris said it had been an “incredibly challenging period” but athletes and coaches had “shown a real resilience and commitment in finding ways to continue their training”.

“We recognise the specific challenges faced by athletes within the Highlands and Islands, especially at this time, so it’s important to be flexible in how we provide support,” Harris said. ·

Applications are open from today (27 July) and the deadline is Tuesday 17 August. More details can be found here.