As the Kent Trust for Youth Sport nears its 21st birthday, it is with sadness that Trustees announce the final whistle.
Since its inception, the volunteer-led charity has provided over £210,000 of funding to individuals and community organisations across Kent to enable young people to participate in sport.
Originally established as the Mazda Rugby Union Youth Trust in 2000, the charity’s funding was provided to organisations to enable and encourage children and young people to play Rugby Union or other sports, in order to benefit their physical development and wellbeing. In 2005, the charity changed its name to The Kent Trust for Youth Sport (KT4YS) and gave more consideration to sports where children wished to participate but were in financial need.
The Trust merged in 2011 with the Wykeham Stanley Lord Cornwallis Memorial Trust, giving a boost to the amount of funds available and a new focus on supporting talented sporting individuals.
Paralympic Gold medallist table tennis player Will Bailey and Youth Olympic Gold medallist skier Madi Rowlands are both former recipients of KT4YS grants. Wasps Ladies Rugby player Florence Williams, England professional squash player Georgina Kennedy, and last year’s LTA British Tour women’s title winner Emma Raducanu also received financial support from the Trust.
Sports Club and Community Organisation recipients included Bearsted and Thurnham Bowling Club, Guru Nanak Football Club, Newhouse Basketball Club, Seapoint Canoe Centre, Thanet Swimming Club, Vista Twisters Cheerleading Club and Westerham Sea Cadets.
The current Trustees of Michael Firmin (Chairman), Graham Lark, Simon Philip and Elise Rendall have amassed more than 50 years of voluntary service and support to the Trust.
During the past twelve months KT4YS has partnered with Kent Sport to provide much-needed funding to sports clubs requiring support to navigate the coronavirus impact on participation in sport and physical activity.
A new Legacy Fund has been established with Kent Sport, which will provide the opportunity for sports clubs and community organisations to apply for funding during the next two years. More information can be found on the Kent Sport website.
Michael Firmin, Chairman, said “The success of Kent Trust for Youth Sport has been through the drive of our volunteer Trustees, throughout the years, to ensure that the funding has been used to make an impact, and where more children and young people have had the opportunity to participate in sport. Sports Clubs lie at the heart of a community and it is imperative that children and young people can continue to participate in sport, to whatever level they wish to achieve.”
Jon Rye, Development Manager, said “It has been a privilege to get to know and support some of our county’s talented young stars, and to see them develop along their own sporting pathway. I know that some will continue to excel and achieve their dreams in the not-too-distant future. On behalf of the sporting community of Kent and the many individuals the Trust has supported, I would like to thank all of the past and present Trustees for their voluntary service to sport in the county.”
Sophie Ward, Kent Sport Funding and Partnerships Manager, said “Kent Sport is committed to ‘change lives through sport and physical activity’ and the Kent Trust for Youth Sport Legacy Fund will allow us to continue to do so. We are very grateful to have worked in partnership with the Trust for many years and seen the good work that has been undertaken; and will continue to add value to our support across Kent.”
Over the last twenty years, £210,000 has been awarded to individuals and organisations across Kent.
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