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Supporting local talent
7:00am Saturday 17th August 2013 in Sport
Guardian offers financial boost of £500 to Warrington-based football, rugby league and dance teams
By ALEX BYSOUTH
WARRINGTON Guardian sports sponsorships have been awarded by independent judges following a competition earlier this year.
A football team, rugby league side and a pair of dancers will receive £500 to help with kit or equipment costs.
Last season’s Grange FC under 11s competed in the Warrington Junior Football League and survived on a limited budget made up of subscriptions, fundraising and kit sponsorship from local businesses.
Despite regularly propping up the league table over the previous three seasons, a core of 10 boys and one girl discovered that their team is more important than the individual.
Grange FC’s only requirement is the desire to play as a team, and the squad have learned to help each other and perform with the ‘heart and passion’ embroidered on their club crest while also becoming firm friends.
“The team have suffered some heavy defeats, but they still come off the pitch with smiles on their faces,” said club representative Malcolm Knox.
“And when they win? Well, they won’t stop telling you about it all week!
“Dedicated couple Matt, the coach, and Gemma, the secretary, give a lot of their time to organise games and training and raise a majority of the funds,” he added.
Crosfields Cobras under 12s secured the sponsorship as part of their fundraising year, in which they are working hard to be able to afford to take the team on tour.
Head coach Mark Hall has worked with many of the under 12s since they were six years old and has seen them grow as individuals, as well as developing in a disciplined team environment.
“They have earned the right to make this trip,” he said. “They are working hard to make their tour happen, blood and sweat off the field as well as on.
“I have seen them come and go, cried with them, laughed with them, chastised and praised them and they have never let themselves or me down.”
Teenagers Michael Manning and Annabell Harman will receive the funding to help aid their bid for Open Ballroom and Latin Circuit dance success.
Ballroom dancing is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and categorised competitively as dancesport.
Michael, aged 16, and Annabell, aged 15, represent Warrington in under 21s and under 35s categories and currently sit second in the UK National Pre-Amateur League rankings for ballroom and fifth for Latin.
The pair have set their sights on winning the National Pre-Amateur title at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival in 2014 and wish to inspire more youngsters to take up the sport.
They train up to 10 hours per week and travel all over the country in order to reach the standard necessary for national competition.
“Dancing is our passion, we train hard and aspire to be the best,” said Michael, who is set to start his A-levels at Priestley College in September.
“The sponsorship will really help us achieve our goals.”
n The progress of each winner will be reported in the Warrington Guardian
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