Sports coaches and officials in Jersey will be helped with their development and qualifications thanks to a new funding programme set up by Jersey Sport.
The independent body will provide approximately £20,000 in 2019 to contribute towards sending coaches on qualification courses, as well as bringing high-quality coaches over to the island to pass on their expertise. Referees, umpires and timekeepers, for example, will also be supported by the grants.
“Through success in securing sponsorship and income generation we have managed to identify funding to support the progress of local coaches and officials,” said James Tilley, Sports Partnerships Manager for Jersey Sport.
“Sports groups have been telling us that this is an area in which they really need support and we’re excited to be able to offer this money which we know will make a real impact on upskilling the sporting volunteer workforce.
“Sport wouldn’t exist in the island without the massive amount of time and effort put in by volunteers and we’re delighted to be able to help them with this contribution.”
Jersey Sport will be in touch with associations in the near future to outline the full criteria and application process.
This announcement of new funding comes as an additional boost to local sport just days after the Government of Jersey confirmed £200,000 would be made available in 2019 for the continuation of the Sports Travel Grants scheme, representative “Games” teams and school sports.
Jersey Sport is again running the application and grant-giving process, with clubs, associations and individuals using the cash – typically £40 per eligible person per trip – to help with the costs of getting off-island to compete or train at a higher level than available on-island.
It was confirmed on Monday that the 2019 money could be allocated from contingency funds. £125,000 will again be allotted specifically for the travel grants scheme, with the remainder to be split between groups such as the Commonwealth Games Association of Jersey and the Jersey Island Games Association.
“We’re really pleased we’ve been able to secure the travel grants money again,” said Jersey Sport’s CEO Catriona McAllister.
“The funding is crucial and the sports tell us it can really make the difference between going on a trip or not going. For the elite athletes, there’s a clear need for them to be able to get off-island to test themselves and that’s a key step for many on the path to progressing their sporting careers.”
Around 3,000 trips were backed by the travel grants in 2018, supporting 32 different types of sport.
A selection of the many comments sent to Jersey Sport recently about the importance of the Travel Grants Scheme
“The travel grants are absolutely crucial to us,” said Jersey Hockey administrator Sarah Heelis. “The grants show our junior athletes that Jersey is behind them and will support them in their endeavours. We want to ensure everyone involved in hockey is given the chance to develop into the hockey player they want to be and we recognise, as part of our offering, there is a need for players to travel overseas to take on other players who can provide a more varied level of competition.”
Paul Patterson MBE, chairman of the Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled, added: “The travel grant system is really important and will often make the difference on an athlete being able to attend a competition off island or not. So many of our members come from less fortunate backgrounds and we often need to give them more chaperone support due to the very nature of their disability.”
“Any help no matter what size of donation helps the competitor to focus,” said Greig Brown, president of the Channel Islands Federation of Freshwater Anglers. “What we all want to do is train and compete with as little financial pressure as possible.”
Due to the delay in the confirmation of the funding from the Government of Jersey, the travel grant application deadline has been extended until 22nd March. Most sports have already submitted their bids but any remaining groups are encouraged to apply as soon as possible via www.jerseysport.je/grants