A FLAGSHIP project will provide financial support to the area’s brightest young sporting talent to help them fulfil their potential.
Rising Stars was launched after Chester firm BiG Storage and Sport Cheshire agreed a sponsorship deal.
Bursaries will be offered to top young Cheshire athletes aiming to compete at international events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or World Championships.
The project also offers a support programme in partnership with the sport science students at the University of Chester, alongside other benefits.
Mountaineer Alex Staniforth, aged 18, from Chester, is the first to benefit from Rising Stars.
He became the youngest person ever to complete the national three peaks challenge solo aged just 16 and next spring hopes to become the youngest Briton to climb the south east ridge of Mount Everest, aiming to raise nearly £30,000 for charities along the way.
Michael Darby, vice-chairman of Sport Cheshire, said: “Sport Cheshire is proud to enter into a sponsorship agreement with BiG Storage to enable more of our gifted young sports people to achieve their ambitions.
“Sport Cheshire is committed to creating local opportunities to allow local participants to compete and participate at their chosen level.”
BiG Storage has branches in Chester, Warrington and Macclesfield, and the firm has been long-standing supporters of community sport sponsoring numerous clubs including Chester FC and Cheshire Phoenix.
Over the course of the year Sport Cheshire and BiG Storage will be supporting a further 20 young athletes through Rising Stars.
Andrew Donaldson, of BiG Storage, said: “We are proud to become the first sponsor of the Sports Cheshire Rising Stars awards.
“As a company we have always been committed to helping people and by sponsoring these awards we can help young people take a step closer to realising their dreams.
“We also hope that by raising our own business profile other companies will come forward and support our aspiring sports people of Cheshire.”