BUDDING sports stars on the Island dreaming of medal success in the Olympics and other major competition, can benefit from the local authority’s Talented Athlete Scheme, which is now open to applicants.

The IW Council’s sports unit is now accepting applications for 2021-22.

The scheme was established to help those gifted in their particular sports by offering discounted access to a variety of services.

Talented athletes who meet the scheme’s criteria, can use the council’s leisure centres free of charge, receive discounts in selected local retailers, physio and chiropractic services, as well as discounted travel on Wightlink ferries.

Last year’s programme helped more than 70 athletes, aged from ten to 83, representing 21 different sports.

Many sporting stars have benefited already from the scheme, such as 10,000m athlete Jessica Andrews, who competed at the Rio Olympics, and hammer thrower Andrew Frost, who competed in the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

To check if you can apply and to get an application pack, visit: www.iwight.com/sportsunit

You can also email the council’s sports unit to: talented.athlete@iow.gov.uk

The deadline for applications is Sunday, November 21. The scheme applies to Island residents only.