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Sporting trust hands out first cheques to borough's talented athletes

PUBLISHED: 14:29 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 11 August 2010

These young athletes are delighted with their cash awards

These young athletes are delighted with their cash awards

MONTHS of hard work finally paid off as the Living the Dream Trust made its first payments to young athletes, last week. A total of 16 sportsmen and women were presented with cheques at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club on Tuesday night (March 18). T

MONTHS of hard work finally paid off as the Living the Dream Trust made its first payments to young athletes, last week.

A total of 16 sportsmen and women were presented with cheques at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club on Tuesday night (March 18).

The payments are designed to help them and their families cope with the financial burden of training to compete at the highest level.

Trust chairman, Jeremy West, said: "In this borough we've probably got more aspiring athletes than any other in London, and that's a fact we're very proud of.

"A while ago we looked at ways we could help those athletes to get to the top level.

"The whole idea of the Trust is to financially support young aspiring athletes to get to the top.

"It's not just about giving money out if they reach a certain level, it's about making a difference by paying for a piece of equipment or travelling costs to a training camp."

Teresa Parish, the council's Head of Events, Play, Tourism, and Olympics, who came up with the idea of Living the Dream, said: "I cannot tell you how proud I am of this Trust and of the people who have put in so much enthusiasm, commitment and long hours to set it up."

The athletes awarded cheques were; Reece Taylor, karate; David Dunnage, ice hockey; Stevie Dunnage, ice hockey; Daniel Stepton, swimming; Dean Smith, swimming; Kelsey Richards, swimming; Bonne Buwembo, javelin; Georgie Bean, javelin; Vincent Lazaro, long and triple jump; Joseph Kwame, long and triple jump; Lucy Sargent, sprinting; Lindsey Tate, judo; Samantha Tate, judo; Kelly Staddon, judo; Frankie Goulding, judo, and Kiki Oniwinde, javelin.

A total of £4,050 was handed out on the night.

The presentation evenings will be held four times a year, and athletes are allowed to apply for grants regardless of whether or not they have received an award previously.

Kelly Staddon's mother, Karen, said: "We only found out about Living the Dream two months ago, after reading about it in the POST.

"Any funding is a help to us. Kelly goes abroad about seven or eight times a year, and the cost is enormous. She has to attend certain training camps with the England team, and if she doesn't go, she's out of the team.

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