GATESHEAD’S Matthew Andrews has courted first prize at a national badminton event – with the help of his local council.
The council provided Matthew, 13, who plays for the Durham City Badminton Club, with a grant of £50 so he could compete in the under-13s doubles at the National Championships at the Leisure Village in Kettering.
Matthew won first place and was later given an additional grant of £200 to provide him with financial support to represent England at the Denmark International Badminton Tournament, where he reached the semi finals of the boy's doubles.
Matthew, of Whickham, has been playing badminton for four years and competing for three years.
His dad Richard applied to the council for a small grant to help support his son’s passion for the sport.
Matthew, studying at Whickham Comprehensive School, said: “I was pleased to receive this grant.
“It helped to pay for my travel and accommodation when I have been competing in national and international competitions. I also have to thank my school and Sports Aid Northern for their support.
“They have all helped me pay for new racquets which I would not have been able to do without their help.”
Gateshead Council offers the grants scheme to groups and clubs as well as individuals who compete and represent their clubs at an advanced level in competition.
The council is urging others to apply before the next deadline on October 1.
Ring (0191) 433 2268, e-mail the grants and awards team at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.gateshead.gov.uk/grantsandawards .