THE THIRD wave of Set4Success awards will be made this month, as the scheme to support Horsham’s sports stars of the future gathers momentum.
Launched last spring as a joint venture between Rotary Club of Horsham, Horsham District Council, Horsham Schools and DC Leisure, there were five recipients in the second, most recent batch of awards, with 18 currently on the shortlist being deliberated.
Set4Success made financial awards to Finlay Hillicks and Caitlin Ward (rugby), Kirsty Richardson (ice skating), Tara Norris (cricket) and Jordan Kennedy (trampoline), although the scheme is not all about money, with the motivational skills of patrons such as Olympic swimmer Karen Pickering arguably more of a spur.
Horsham Rotary Club treasurer John Le Rossignol said: “The launch ceremony (where Pickering spoke about her career) was an experience that they would not usually have.
“To listen to someone like Karen Pickering, and then to stand up in front of 100 people and be interviewed is a great experience.
“The feedback we have had is that the ceremony is more important than the money, it’s something really motivational. One of the first recipients was thinking about giving up his sport until he attended the ceremony.
“It took around 21 months to come to fruition, and since last spring it has really taken off, I think it works well. We do have to find more sponsors and we want them to become involved, building a relationship with the recipients.”
As well as the launch event at Horsham’s Capitol Theatre, with an inter-school ‘superstar’ competition with Olympic Paraplegic Champion Sascha Kindred, OBE. As well as receiving a Financial award, the winners also received a free pass for a year to the facilities of DC Leisure.
Many of the winners have already gone on to achieve further recognition in their sports in the last few months.
High profile patrons who have given their backing to the scheme, which is funded through sponsors and fundraising activities, include ex-England ladies captain Faye White, and Leicester Tigers fly-half Billy Twelvetrees, both of whom have strong ties to the Horsham District.
January’s shortlist include ballroom dancers, swimmers and baseball players, and while John is keen for the scheme to grow, he believes only a select few should be awarded.
“What we are finding is that some clubs have a lot of talent in a particular area,” he added. “But we want to ensure we only give out awards to the most talented.
“So far we have focused on children who are in the eight-plus age group. But there are other areas, such as children who take qualifications to become coaches, or helping parents who cannot really afford to continue their child’s sports growth.”
A new sponsorship programme and brochure has recently been produced and will be launched in the coming weeks to prospective new business sponsors.
Sponsorship starts at £100, and any company who pays £250 or more gets to establish an affiliation with one of the winners.
To make an application for a Set4Success Award, or to receive details of our Sponsorship schemes, or for any other enquiry, you can make contact through www.set4success.org or write to email@example.com.