The first beneficiaries of a fund set up in memory of Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy have been chosen.
Two days after what would have been Roger’s birthday, the Roger Begy Memorial Trust hosted a corporate golf day at Greetham Valley Hotel in which the first beneficiary Ben Higgins was introduced.
The charity was set up to help the young people of Rutland meet their potential, whether it be academic, through an apprenticeship, or fulfilling an ambition in sport, music or the arts.
Ben, from Langham and a pupil at Catmose College in Oakham, is a talented 400m runner who has already picked up medals both locally and nationally on flat and over hurdles.
He will be using the support from the trust for one-to-one sportspsychology sessions at Loughborough University to help him improve his pre-race mind set and learn how to deal with competition situations better.
He is hoping to compete internationally in the future and has just moved into the under 20 age group. His ultimate aim is to represent his country at the Olympics.
Nick Begy, Roger’s son and one of the founders of the trust said: “We will follow Ben’s progress with great pride, and we hope we can continue to support him to reach his goals.”
The trust has also helped a young Irish dancer called Tamzin Hodgkinson, who has already competed at the Great Britain Championships, All Scotland Championships and All Ireland championships in recent years.
She has ambitions to reach the World Championships in Glasgow in 2018 and the money from the trust has allowed Tamzin to become a member of the Reaching New Heights Academy which is helping her with strength and conditioning to support her dancing.
Nick said: “Tamzin is extremely talented and hardworking, and again we hope to follow her progress over the coming years, and we hope the funding we have made to aid her training makes that difference.
“Through the hard work of the family and trustees we are starting to make a real difference to some young people’s lives.”
Another achievement in the fledgling years, is another project close to Roger’s heart, with many hours watching his grandson Will play cricket.
The fund has now run two sessions for Rutland coaches to help them improve how they coach children in the sport at all ages.
The trust has been running for 18 months, and has raised close to £10,000. It is actively looking for more young people in the county to support.
The money has been raised through a gala ball in March, donations given at Rutland Birdfair, events in Greetham where Roger lived and fundraising at rugby matches - something else he loved.
He died in February 2016, aged 72, after a short battle with cancer.
To find out more about the trust visit www.rogerbegymemorialtrust.co.uk.