CASH given to young sportsmen and women in Northumberland will create a lasting legacy for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is hoped.
The Sports Challenge Fund, which will support projects and activities in Northumberland, was launched yesterday.
The fund, which offers grants of up to £3,000, will help national governing bodies of a number of sports deliver their national projects in the county.
Aimed at young people between 14 and 25, the project is designed to raise sporting participation levels in Northumberland.
County councillor Neil Bradbury, the executive member responsible for leisure, said: “2012 will always be a year remembered for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“It was a truly phenomenal event and Team GB athletes were an inspiration for people in this country through the many unbelievable performances they gave and the outstanding medals haul achieved.
“My personal highlight was seeing Mo Farrah winning his second gold medal, which was an incredible achievement. Through the Sports Challenge Fund, we want to ensure that the Games don’t become a distant memory and by supporting and working directly with national governing bodies, we believe we can create more opportunities for our residents to participate in sport.
“We would therefore welcome any bids from national governing bodies that can clearly demonstrate an impact on participation levels. This could range from supporting the employment of more coaches, helping to develop local sports clubs or any other innovative project ideas they may have.
“I’d be particularly pleased to support sports where participation in the county is lower than the national average.”
Council bosses say the grant will provide an opportunity to support the good work, which already happens across the county.
Executive director for Northumberland Sport Doug Lowery said: “The London 2012 Games was clearly a great source of inspiration, which we hope has provided the impetus for people to want get more active through sport.
“The Sports Challenge fund provides a great opportunity to support the good work that already happens across Northumberland. It also ensures that our support is directly linked with national governing bodies’ priorities in the county.”
For further details on the Sports Challenge Fund including application information, visit www.northumberlandsport.co.uk