TIME is running out for rising sports stars in Wiltshire to apply for funding from a special scheme designed to help them on their journey to success – and local businesses can play their part too.

This is the fourth year Wiltshire Council has organised the Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians grant which provides financial help to local elite athletes.

Since it began in September, 2010, 13 local athletes have received funding to help them reach the highest levels in their sport.

On March 13, 2014, a special fundraising dinner will be held in the Atrium at County Hall, Trowbridge. All money raised from the night will be added to the Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians grants.

The Olympic Legacy Business Dinner promises to be an exceptional event. One-off experiences will be auctioned as part of the evening, including the opportunity to cycle with Paralympic gold medallist Mark Colbourne MBE and a swimming session with Paralympic silver medallist and four-time World Champion Stephanie Millward.

There are still a few opportunities left for local businesses to get involved. Anyone interested in the various sponsorship packages should contact: events@wiltshire.gov.uk

Previous recipients include Olympian Francesca Fox and Paralympic silver medallist Aaron Moores.

Jerry Kunkler, portfolio holder for leisure, said: “Behind the smiling podium finish of every successful athlete there has been years of hard work and financial costs associated with reaching the top of their sport.

“Receiving a grant can make a huge difference, providing much-needed financial support which can help towards the cost of attending national or international level competitions, events and training camps.”

People of any age who are competing at a national level, or above, in any Olympic or Paralympic sport, are invited to apply. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday, January 20, 2014. For more information, the criteria and the application form visit