FANS members in full-time education can apply for a small grant to help them with the costs associated with training and competing at a National and International level. Read below how some FANS members have used the grant to support their training and competing.

Ashton Platts – Para-swimming

“The grant was spent on entry fees to the Junior British Para-swimming in Coventry enabling Ashton to compete at this high-level gala and obtain a qualifying time for the 200IM at the Summer Nationals Swimming Championships being held in July 2024. Without the funding he would not have been unable to attend the whole weekend and compete in all his qualifying races.

Swimming provides Ashton the mental and physical support he needs to have some outlet to socialise with his peer group on a more level playing field, which he misses out on via education due to being in a special unit in school. Any support, especially financial, is greatly appreciated to enable him to have the opportunity to utilise his swimming talents.”

Ava Chappell – Modern Pentathlon

“I am lucky to loan some of my fencing equipment from school, but to compete in Fencing as part of Modern Pentathlon my mask needed a high protection standard, so I used my grant funding towards buying a FEI approved fencing mask. The mask will allow me to compete for the first time in full Modern Pentathlon events and I am hoping to get selected to represent Great Britain at the U17 Championships in 2025. I will also be Fencing at the Schools Games at the end of August at Loughborough University.

Pentathlon GB is based at the University of Bath. I attend training camps at Bath, but the rest of my training is done as individual sports which means lots of travelling and lots of different clubs. This is challenging for me and my parents but makes me even more determined to continue to succeed.”

Connie Fenwick – Hockey

“I am a hockey goalie, and I used the FANS small grant to go towards buying a new helmet which has helped me massively. I now play at international level for England U16 Girls and I am facing a higher quality of player with harder and faster shots. The new helmet gives me the confidence to play to my best.

Hockey goalie is a very expensive sport. The kit costs thousands of pounds and is a drain on my mum and dad’s finances, so this grant really came at the perfect time and is hugely appreciated.”

Elise Butler – Swimming

“The funding went towards competition fees during the National qualifying window in 2024 which resulted in me qualifying for this year’s Summer Nationals in Sheffield. The funding really helped to ease the increasing financial pressure on my parents.

I faced a growth spurt earlier this year, which knocked all my stroke techniques out of kilter meaning I have had to go back to basics with my coach, but I am so happy that I am currently ranked number 1 for 800m Free short course. I also won the 800m Free at the South East Regional Championships in May 2024 and Silver in 400m Free.”

Jake Phillips – Athletics

“Last season Jake was ranked top 10 in the UK for Pentathlon. He represented Kent in the Indoor Sports Championships and was selected for Kent in track and field. This season has gotten off to a great start. With help from the grant, Jake was able to attend his first Lee Valley Indoor Kent Championship competition. Jake has also been able to enter more open meetings, where he has already achieved a PB in long jump, 300m and 200m.

Jake recently represented Kent in the UK National Championships Final competing in three athletic disciplines and achieved gold in each one. Overall, he was part of the Kent Team in Stoke-on-Trent that became UK National Champion’s receiving another gold medal. With the FANS grant he was able to travel and compete in this competition which was an amazing experience. Jake has also been able to buy equipment to build his skills, namely stretch bands, roller balls and new spikes. This has all greatly helped towards his performance.”

Romeo Ball – Swimming

“The funding was put towards entry fees, accommodation, and travel costs for Southeast Regional Championships in April 2024 where Romeo achieved 6 Silver and 1 Bronze medals in a very competitive field. He also gained 6 National times out of a possible 8 at the championships which is absolutely amazing.

Attending county, regional, and national championships is very expensive as well as the monthly training costs, travel, and equipment needed to excel in this sport. Any financial assistance is welcomed and appreciated.”

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