Learn about the history of the Kent Trust for Youth Sport, from when it was formed in 2000 to the present day, and the highs and lows along the way.

The Trust was originally set up by the Kent Rugby Football Union in May 2000 with funds donated by Mazda Cars Ltd then located in Kent. It was originally called “The Mazda Rugby Football Union Youth Trust”.

The Trust’s original purpose was to support youth rugby and in its early years this was its sole purpose. Eric Coombes chaired the Trust at that time and the Trustees were representatives of the Kent Rugby Football Union.

In August 2005, with Mazda leaving Kent, it was decided that the Trust’s objects should be extended to supporting all recognised youth sport in Kent including rugby. It was further agreed that communities and sports clubs would be eligible for support. The Trust’s name was changed to “The Kent Trust for Youth Sport” at that time. Kent County Council agreed to support the ‘new’ Trust in its early ventures providing, as it still does, for representatives from their Sports Development Unit to assist the charity.

In 2008 Eric Coombes stood down and Tony Monteuuis took over as Chairman. The Trust continued unchanged until August 2013 when it merged with the Wykeham Stanley Lord Cornwallis Memorial Fund (WSLCMF), a charity with similar objects. Two Trustees from the WSLCMF joined the Board of the Kent Trust for Youth Sport and the WSLCMF donated its charitable funds to the Trust before being wound up.

When Tony Monteuuis stood down as Chairman in June 2013 the Hon. Charlotte Cornwallis succeeded him until Simon Philip replaced her. Following the merger the Cornwallis Awards were created to preserve one of the key purposes of the WSLCMF, namely providing grants to outstandingly talented young people to help them take their sport to higher levels. The Trust also continues to support communities and clubs with grants for the benefit of young people through sport. Simon continued as Chairman until December 2018 when, due to other duties, Michael Firmin replaced him.

The Board is currently comprised of the following Trustees: Michael Firmin (Chairman), Graham Lark (Secretary & Hon. Treasurer), Simon Philip and Elise Rendall.

Jon Rye is the Trust’s Development Manager, responsible for the administration and the effective running of the Trust.

Our partners

  • Firmin
  • Kent County Council
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Did you know

Over the last twenty years, £210,000 has been awarded to individuals and organisations across Kent.


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