Community News and Events
Council’s Rescue Grant Kick-Starts World Title Win
A council sports development grant came to the rescue of Pitsea teenager Kieran Silver and helped him on his way to win a gold medal in an international martial arts tournament. Kieran, a master of Taikido, faced having to bow out of the world all-styles martial arts championships, held in Malta, because he could not afford the airfare and hotel. But before months of training got the chop, the council stepped in to keep his ambitions alive with a £600 lifeline just days before he was due to compete. Sustainable Communities also helped out with an additional grant. The grant meant Kieran, 17, went on to lift the World United Martial Arts Federation title for Great Britain in the men’s under-75kg intermediate continuous contact category. "I could not have done this without the help of the council grant. I was facing having to pull out of the championships because I couldn’t finance the trip. That would have been a massive blow to me, especially as it was the first time I had been picked to compete," said Kieran. "We run the sports development fund to assist promising young sportsmen and women in training and competition," said councillor Anthony Hedley, cabinet member for Leisure and Open Spaces. "It is designed for athletes whose achievements can put Basildon on the map, and Kieran has certainly helped to do that. We are delighted he won the world title, especially when it was doubtful he could even take part," he added.
Two hundred balloons were released in Basildon town centre to mark the launch of a new social inclusion strategy by the council.
The balloons, 150 of them orange and 50 white, represented the one in four children who live in poverty across the country.