A TALENTED young Malmesbury gymnast has been awarded a £500 grant by Wiltshire Council in her quest for success.

12-year-old Eirlys Jones is a member of the GB Rhythmic Gymnastics Junior Squad, is Under 12 British Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion in Clubs and All-Around and is Under 12 Welsh Elite Rhythmic Champion.

Eirlys is one of 10 young sports stars in Wiltshire to receive the sports scholarship grant, given to those between the ages of eight and 18 who compete at either a regional or national level.

She can use the funding to access training and competitive opportunities, to purchase equipment and to cover transport costs for attending regional, or national events.

It's the second year in a row that Eirlys has been awarded the grant.

“I was so grateful to receive this grant last year as it gave me a boost to know that I had the support of my local community," Eirlys said.

"It meant that I could attend a two-week training camp in Sochi, Russia at the Olympic Park with Team Wales which was an amazing experience that will help me to continue to improve my techniques and skills."

Eirlys and the nine other lucky recipients were presented with their grants at a recent event at County Hall, Trowbridge.

The lively evening started with an inspirational insight in to what it takes to be an elite athlete from special guest and previous grant recipient, 2018 Winter Paralympic gold medallist and 2019 World Champion, para alpine skier Jennifer Kehoe MBE.

The night's host, Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Wiltshire Council's portfolio holder for leisure said: "This funding will make a huge difference to the successful individuals in terms of providing financial support for their sporting ambitions.

"We are very proud of our Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians programme and its contribution to Wiltshire Council's long-standing aim of creating a lasting legacy of sporting success in the county."

Jennifer Kehoe MBE said: "It is such an honour to come and speak to these young athletes. Knowing you have the support of the local community is so important, not only when you are just starting out but also when you get to the top of your sport.

"I know what receiving a grant meant to me and how it boosted my confidence before the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyongChang. I am looking forward to seeing some of these names on the Team GB list for many years to come."