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Rushcliffe’s free leisure centre access helps volleyball ace Tom

10 April 2018

An up and coming Rushcliffe based volleyball star is benefitting from a Borough Council scheme which provides free access to its leisure centres to help them compete at national level.

16-year-old Tom Jones said “it’s not unusual” for him to now use leisure centres as part of his training thanks to Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Free Access to National Sportspeople (FANS) scheme as he builds on his experience with the England Volleyball Under 17s squad.

In conjunction with leisure centre operator Parkwood Leisure, who operate four of the council’s sites, he is now among those aiming to reach their full potential in the sport with the help of reducing the financial burden of training costs.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Debbie Mason said: “Tom is another great example of where we can assist a budding international athlete with support towards their training.

“He uses Rushcliffe Arena to help maintain his fitness and we’re very pleased if we can help make an in road into the costs of his training as we understand his funding is currently so limited.”

Tom and his Dad Mark from Tollerton are also seeking sponsorship to fund his international ambitions further in the sport with a Go fund Me Campaign.

Tom said: “As volleyball is no longer a funded sport here in the UK, I am seeking sponsorship to fund match and referees fees, travel expenses, hotels, training equipment, flights and even purchase my own England kit!

“This amounts to thousands of pounds over the year so any donation, however large or small, would be very welcome and anyone can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/teamtomjones .”

Luke Colaluca General Manager of Parkwood Leisure sites in Rushcliffe explained the scheme’s participation continues to be popular.

He said: “We’re delighted to support local athletes like Tom and we hope over time it will have a real impact when he goes to compete on the national or international stage.

“We’re pleased the athletes on the FANS scheme enjoy our facilities but we are always reviewing what range of fitness, swimming, aerobics and classes can benefit all of our leisure centre users across Rushcliffe.”