WILTSHIRE council is offering grants of up to £500 to fund young athletes in their quest for sporting success.

The sports scholarships are available for any Wiltshire athletes aged between eight and 18 competing at a regional or national level.

Over the last five years they have helped 34 potential champions across the county make strides towards being professional athletes.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: “This funding makes a huge difference to the athletes helping them on their quest to success. We are delighted that as a result of hosting the annual Wiltshire Business and Sports Gala Dinner we have a foundation fund to support future Olympians and Paralympians.

“The funds are raised with the support of local businesses so that we can offer help to the county’s future sports stars.”

Twelve youngsters were awarded scholarships in January this year and have already found success, among them, Lucy-Jane, from Salisbury,

“The grant helped me achieve a dream of representing my country at the European Youth Championships," she said.

“Knowing I have this support back home has meant so much and it is helping me focus on my ultimate goal of representing GB at the Olympics.”

Previous grant recipients have included Trowbridge high-jumper Tom Gale and cyclist Peter Kibble, from Calne, who competed in the Commonwealth Games in Australia this year.

The deadline for applications is 5 November 2018.