A quartet of exciting young talents have struck gold with financial and practical support for the next 12 months through a countywide scheme.
Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport (LRS) and its partners are backing 109 talented athletes from the county through its Go Gold funding programme.
The successful applicants, from 25 different sports, have received podium level grants ranging from £100 to £1,000.
Podium level funding is provided by Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Rutland County Council to athletes who are competing at regional level or higher.
Frisby runner Mari Smith, who has represented the Great Britain junior squad and an England senior team at cross country this winter was among the Melton beneficiaries along with modern pentathlete Sophie Pedlar, from Eastwell, who last year finished third at the British Tetrathlon Championships (under 25s).
England junior international fencer Niamh Noble, also from Frisby, was another to win Go Gold support as was exciting young swimmer William Hawkes who last year won two British Championship bronze medals.
The athletes were recognised at two presentation evenings at County Hall which were hosted by Leicestershire County Council chairman David Snartt and supported by Leicester Riders and Team GB captain Drew Sullivan.
All podium level athletes will also receive free leisure passes to their local leisure centres to support their training programme.
High-profile athletes to have benefited from the Go Gold programme include Commonwealth Games medal-winning triple jumper Laura Samuel, double junior world cycling champion Lucy Garner and England Women’s Rugby World Cup winner Emily Scarratt.
Grants awarded for 2016 – Charnwood (21); Harborough (19); Leicester City (18); Blaby (17); Rutland (9); Hinckley and Bosworth (8); North West Leicestershire (7); Oadby and Wigston (6); Melton (4).