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Farron throws backing behind Sports Trust

February 11, 2013 10:29 AM

Tim footballCumbrian MP Tim Farron has tabled a motion in Parliament calling in support of a newly established charity, the Tony Ward Trust, which aims to increase participation and address the numerous barriers to achievement in sport for youngsters in Cumbria.

Tim has said that the Trust, which will also provide planned personal development opportunities to young people through their commitment to sport, represents a perfect opportunity to establish a meaningful legacy for last year's Olympic Games. Gwenda Ward has established the organisation in memory of her late husband, who dedicated his life to the sport of athletics in the UK. On his retirement, Tony had turned his attention to coaching young athletes in Cumbria, becoming frustrated at the disadvantages they face and the lack of effective policies from the sport's governing bodies to benefit youngsters outside urban regions.

Tim has also written to Lord Sebastian Coe, urging him to help publicise the Trust's work and further enhance the legacy of the overwhelmingly successful London 2012 Games.

Commenting, Tim said: "Gwenda's project is an innovative and unique programme which will really benefit youngsters in our region. The focus on developing mental strength and emotional resilience alongside technical ability means that no matter how long young people remain engaged with sport they will continue to benefit from the coaching they receive.

"Unfortunately Cumbria does suffer in this area due to a heavily centralised focus from the governing bodies of various sports, and this is something the Trust is attempting to address by bringing in specialist coaches and working hand in hand with local schools and clubs. Of course, as a charity they will rely on being able to access funding and I do hope businesses and grant making bodies will seriously consider helping.

"Last year's Olympic mantra, to "inspire a generation", must not exclude youngsters on the geographical margins of the country, which is why the Trust's work is so important."