Spalding teenager Zoe Smith has been named among the county’s next generation of sporting talent.
The 19-year-old equestrian rider made it on the Lincolnshire Elite Athlete Programme (LEAP) for 2017.
The Active Lincolnshire project, which is sponsored by Firstaid4sport, provides bursaries.
The programme is now in its ninth year and in the past has supported some famous names at the start of their careers including Olympic hockey gold medallist Shona McCallin and motor racing driver Jack Harvey, who has just competed in the Indy 500.
This year the programme is supporting 18 athletes – 15 at county level and three who have made it to international standard.
The county standard athletes all receive £250 and international athletes receive £750.
The funding is greatly appreciated and will be very beneficial towards training with world-class coaches to help me progress through the season to come and hopefully reach our big goals for next year.Zoe Smith
The athletes can use the funding to support any element of their training or for competitions they enter.
Former Spalding High School student Smith said: “I am very excited to be a part of the LEAP programme for 2017 and honoured to have been selected as one of the international athletes.
“The funding is greatly appreciated and will be very beneficial towards training with world-class coaches to help me progress through the season to come and hopefully reach our big goals for next year.”
Michael Davison, managing director of FirstAid4Sport, added: “Shortlisting the athletes was a tough process, as we had so many good applications.
“I want to grow the scheme which is why I am working with Active Lincolnshire to promote the LEAP Supporters’ Club.
“For a small donation, organisations and individuals can join the club and in doing so, help us to grow LEAP and support even more of our future sporting stars.
“We will be issuing a supporters’ club logo to all our supporters for them to use in any their marketing platforms.”