Catherine has sights set on London 2012

May 8, 2009 12:00 AM

Cllr Dale Mulgrew Catherine Marcroft and Cllr William HobhouseA bright young swimming hopeful from Rochdale is set to make a splash at the 2012 London Olympics, thanks to sponsorship from Rochdale Borough Council.

Catherine Marcroft from Balderstone has received £1000 from Rochdale Township; a figure matched by Link4Life - the cultural trust that run the council's leisure facilities - as part of the Talented Athlete Support Scheme. The scheme provides financial support to the borough's gifted athlete's who have demonstrated their potential to achieve selection for the national squad in their given sport, with particular emphasise on the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

The lively 16 year old, who trains nine times a week, says the extra funds will be a huge help towards her push for the next Olympics:

"The money will help with kit costs and travel expenses to and from training sessions and meets. This means my mum won't have to worry and I can just focus on my swimming and hopefully get better and better!"

The scheme also provides free membership and unlimited use of Link4Life fitness and training facilities across the borough, as well as a designated personal fitness trainer.

Craig McAteer, Managing Director of Link4Life said the scheme is the pinnacle of the borough's sporting strategy:

"We aim to ensure that local people have the opportunity to maximise their sporting ability and fulfill their aspirations in their chosen sport. Heywood Olympic silver medalist Keri-Anne Payne received this funding in the lead up the Beijing games and we hope to support many more of our athletes on their way to glory."

Rochdale Township Chair Councillor William Hobhouse said: "It's absolutely fantastic that Rochdale Township is putting money forward to help the town's athletes in their preparations for London 2012. I hope Katherine follows in the footsteps of Kerrie Anee Payne and I wish her all the best over the next 3 years."

Councillor Dale Mulgrew added: "I am delighted we are, as a Township, sponsoring all six of Rochdale's elite athletes. This is a great commitment from the Township to really recognise achievement by our locally talented and gifted young people. The award will help them flourish not only in a sporting sense, but will enable them to become ambassadors for Rochdale and role models for other young people from the township, to inspire them onto great things."

To find out if you are eligible for the 'Talented Athlete Support Scheme' or to download an application form, please visit the Link4Life website at and click on the Sport & Leisure page.