Publication:  3 November 2016


Appeal to help budding sports stars follow their dreams


Two Essex sporting champions are backing an appeal to help young people achieve their dreams of becoming the Olympic stars of the future.

World Silver Medallist and Olympic Finalist, Brinn Bevan, 19, from Basildon and 12 year-old ice skating champion, Jasmine Cressey from Chelmsford are giving their support to the appeal urging local people to make donations to the Essex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund to help young Essex athletes reach the top.

Jasmine and Brinn have both received vital financial help from the Fund which is managed by local grantmaking charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF).   

To date the fund, which is a joint venture between Essex and Southend Sports Trust (EASST) and ECF, has awarded 50 grants totalling £135,000, helping young athletes train and reach their full potential and increasing sporting opportunities for local people.

Now, the call is going out for more people to donate to the fund to increase the amount of support that can be given.

Brinn, who trains for around 32 hours a week, said, “I am so grateful for the funding I have received as it has enabled me to train, travel and buy gymnastics equipment. I needed this help to develop my talent so I can compete at an international level.”

In November 2015 Brinn broke his leg, but his determination and dedication to get back to full strength led to him being chosen for the Olympic team in Rio. He is now working towards the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the Olympics in 2020.

Jasmine, aged 12, has been ice skating since she was six and was the youngest person ever to become a member of the GB training squad.  She is currently ranked number one for her age group, which is up to 16, and is hoping for success at the British Championships which will take place in December.

“Ice skating is my life, I don’t know what I would do without it,” said Jasmine.  “I train for 20 hours a week at Riverside Ice and Leisure in Chelmsford and I compete at many different ice rinks.  My mum has to pay for every competition, lesson and test that I do.  The funding we have received has helped to pay for my training and for me to become a much, much better skater.  My dream is to compete at the Winter Olympics.”

The Essex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund was launched in 2013 by businessman and entrepreneur Peter Butler and his lifelong friend Joe Sims who are both trustees of EASST.    Cont…

Peter said, “We are thrilled that grants from our fund have helped athletes from Essex, several of them disabled, to be selected to represent Great Britain at the Olympics and other world championships.

“We are encouraging others to make donations to the fund so that we can help even more Essex residents to develop their sporting talents so that they can compete and win medals for their country”.

As well as supporting individuals, the Essex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund will also consider grants to support clubs and facilities which are widening the opportunity for local people to get active and be involved in sports.
Donations to the  Essex and Southend Sports Charitable Fund to help local sporting talent and improve sports facilities in Essex can be sent to Essex Community Foundation, 121 New London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 0QT or call Jo Murphy on 01245 355947.  For more information visit