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Kirsty GilmourThe Scottish Commonwealth Games Youth Trust today announced the second year of awards up to £1000 for ten young Commonwealth Games hopefuls from the PHM Scholarship Support Fund.

And Bothwell’s Kirsty Gilmour is one of the ten prospective Commonwealth Games athletes who will benefit from this support.

Scottish National women’s singles and doubles champion Gilmour, who has also won three international titles this season already (in Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland) will benefit from a grant of £1000 to go towards her training and competition costs.

This is additional athlete support funding which is being administered by the Commonwealth Games Scotland Youth Trust, following support from a private individual impressed by the potential of Scotland’s young athletes.

Support has been made available for up to 12 prospective Commonwealth Games athletes under the age of 26, towards their preparation for events leading up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and beyond. Athletes were initially selected based on their performances at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games with additional new talent able to be added as appropriate.

The funding will be put to a range of good uses, but focused on helping with living costs and special dietary requirements, purchasing kit and equipment, assisting with travel costs to training and competition or even for areas of personal development.

Whilst the award was made for an initial one year period, an in principle commitment was given for a further two years, subject to satisfactory progress being made against agreed goals set. This longer-term commitment gives athletes greater security and allows them to focus fully on their training and competition. Care has also been taken to ensure that this funding provides an enhanced level of support and does not duplicate funding awarded by other providers.

The nine original athletes are benefiting from a second year of funding, following continued success at junior national and international level and demonstrating the potential to go on to represent Scotland at future Commonwealth Games.

However the highlight of 2012 was Craig Benson achieving selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games where he made the semi-finals of the 100m Breaststroke. He has been awarded an additional £500 towards driving expenses which makes a significant contribution to his training regime, enabling him to be self-sufficient.

In addition, 18 year old heavyweight boxer Scott Forest from Forth, North Lanarkshire has been added to the list of recipients, following an impressive display at the 2012 World Youth Championships in Armenia. Defeating some world class opposition on the way to the final, Scott had to settle for silver after a narrow points defeat.

CGS is truly indebted to this individual who has recognised the potential that so many of our young athletes in Scotland have. It is fantastic that he has personally stepped forward to support a number of them on an ongoing basis in order to help secure their sporting future. This is a crucial time in their development when it would be easy for external factors such as cost to influence their decision whether to quit, or continue and flourish in their chosen sport.

Already the initiative is helping to deliver tangible benefits for the athletes, allowing them to fully focus on realising their sporting aspirations and this will undoubtedly give him a great deal of satisfaction seeing them achieve great things for Scotland.

With a long term commitment given to the PHM Scholarship Support Fund this is great news for Scottish athletes.

Zoey Clark (18), Aberdeen - £1000
Tom Holligan (18), Edinburgh - £1000

Kirsty Gilmour (19), Bothwell - £1000

Charlie Flynn (19), Motherwell - £800
Mark McKeown (18), Coatbridge - £1000
Kieran Smith (19), Greenrigg  - £1000
Scott Forrest (18), Forth - £700

Grant Ferguson (18), Peebles - £1000 

Craig Benson (18), Livingston - £1000 + £500 for driving expenses
Emily Jones (17), Inverurie - £1000

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