New facilities in Chesterfield for Derbyshire athletes
A new satellite hub designed to help athletes from the Chesterfield area reach the top of their chosen sports has been unveiled.
The Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) programme is for elite performers and has been established as a legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games, with the aim of giving stars of the future the chance to push their sporting careers to the next level.
Support comes in the shape of strength and conditioning coaching, access to physiotherapists, nutritional advice and the provision of training facilities.
The main DIS hub is at the University of Derby, who, along with Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council, provide funding to back around 50 athletes.
But two additional sites in Chesterfield – at Chesterfield Borough Council’s Queen’s Park Sports Centre and Staveley Healthy Living Centre – will ensure that those on the DIS programme based further north in the county will enjoy easier access to facilities.
Colin Deaton Table Tennis Academy player Isobel Ashley, 18, from Barrow Hill, is delighted she will now be able to spend more time training.
“The Staveley site is just five minutes from my school where I am studying for my A levels and means I can go straight to the gym there after,” she said.
“I can also use the sports hall to practise at Queen’s Park, as well as the swimming facilities, and it cuts down on the travel to Derby, which can take an hour or more at busy times.”
Golfer George Woolgar, 29, from Tapton, and a member at Chesterfield Golf Club, is aiming to win a place on the European Tour next year.
He said: “I’ve already trained at Staveley and it’s a great facility. It’s a massive help knowing that these places are on my doorstep.”
Another golfer on the DIS programme is 22-year-old Jamie Boler, from Chesterfield. “We can, and will, still travel to Derby some of the time, but training in the town over the winter is going to be a great help,” he said.
The deal between DIS and Chesterfield Borough Council was officially signed on Wednesday morning (December 16) at the Market Hall, Chesterfield.
“It’s a significant development and an opportunity to build on the already great things that Chesterfield people are achieving in sport,” said Mick Blythe, Vice-Chair of Active Chesterfield.
“It gives the community confidence that the right things are in place to give people that final extra value that’s needed to sustain a high performance level.”
Cllr Amanda Sarjeant, Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, at Chesterfield Borough Council added: “The link ties in well with the other work we are doing to support promising young athletes, such as the ICON bursary programme and the Chesterfield School Sports Partnership.”
Although still relatively new, the DIS programme is already beginning to bear fruit, with Tansley shooter Caroline Povey having used her backing to help secure a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in Glasgow this summer.
Ilana Freestone, Director at Derbyshire Sport, which manages the DIS programme, said: “We are trying to give athletes from across Derbyshire the best possible chance to succeed. It’s important to provide local facilities for local athletes.”
Caption: From left to right, Ilana Freestone (Director at Derbyshire Sport), George Woolgar (DIS golfer), Jamie Boler (DIS golfer), Isobel Ashley (DIS table tennis player), Councillor Amanda Serjeant (Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism at Chesterfield Borough Council).