2019 Langholm Future Champions Awards Launched

The “Welcome to Langholm” Future Champions Awards for the year 2019 were launched for the third year in Langholm on Saturday evening by 17-year-old shooter, Kerstin Dodd and 15-year-old hammer thrower, Danny Gracie from Annan both of whom have been firing on all cylinders this year.


The fund was established in September 2016 with the aim of providing financial support to young athletes from Annandale and Eskdale to support their ambitions of becoming the medal winners of the future. The five-year programme running from 2018 – 2022 in Annandale and Eskdale had funds of £50,000 of which £13,500 was awarded to twenty-eight young athletes aged 10 – 21 years old in 2018.


David Stevenson, trustee for the awards and Calum Graham from Active Schools and Community Sport for Dumfries and Galloway Council who manages the fund were joined by Kerstin Dodd, 17 and Danny Gracie, 15 who received Gold Awards in 2018 to launch the awards for 2019.


Kerstin, who has just started studying at Stirling University competed for the Great Britain Under 21 Squad at the World Championships in South Korea in 2018 and also at the Nordic Championship in Norway where she won two bronze medals. Kerstin who is currently ranked 1st in Scotland and 2nd in Great Britain at Under 21 Level said of the awards “The funding has helped me as an athlete as it provides financial support to cover the extensive travel costs associated with competing all over the world. It also allows me to study at university while still being able to compete at a high level.”


Danny won the discuss and hammer at the Scottish Schools Championships in June and was selected to represent Scotland at the Schools International Athletics Board International Competition in July. Danny who was also selected to represent Scotland for a second time at the Celtic Games and is No.1 in Scotland for the Under 17 Hammer said “I am very grateful to the trustees for receiving funding through the “Welcome to Langholm” Future Champions Awards”. He added, “This funding has helped to replace all my throwing implements after moving up to Under 17 standard and has also helped with travel and accommodation. It has been instrumental in ensuring that I could afford to compete for Scotland at an international level.”


The £50,000 funding over five years comes from Langholm based charities The David Stevenson Trust, The Bowman Little Trust, The Auchterlonie Future Champions Awards, The Arthur Bell of Langholm Trust and The Stoneypath Trust and is administered by Active Schools and Community Sport in Annandale and Eskdale.


Former Olympic Pole Vaulter from the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and Trustee, David Stevenson from Langholm said “It is very difficult to reach the highest levels in your sport while studying or living in rural Scotland. This new programme will provide the most promising young athletes in Annandale and Eskdale with support that can enhance access to appropriate coaching, competition, equipment and facilities. Kerstin and Danny are great examples of what can be achieved and are wonderful ambassadors for our little corner of Scotland”


The programme has been developed to help fast-track young sporting talent, the potential medal winners of the future. The awards are a unique partnership that will work with schools and sports clubs and is designed to cater for young athletes who are in education or the early stages of their career or employment. A minimum £10,000 is available to distribute each year with twenty individual awards being made including awards of £1,000, £500 and £250.


Calum Graham, Active Schools and Community Sport for Dumfries and Galloway Council said of the awards “the number of young people participating and achieving in sport is higher than at any other time and we are extremely grateful to these Langholm based charities who have made a significant commitment to support young people from our region in Annandale and Eskdale”. He added ““The growth in participation through schools and clubs combined with enhanced levels of coaching and the raised profile of sport has helped discover and nurture many young children that are now competing and performing at higher levels.”


For further information on the “Welcome to Langholm” Future Champions Awards please contact Calum Graham, Active Schools and Community Sport on 07787690611, e-mail [email protected]. or visit www.dumgal.gov.uk to download a copy of the application form



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