Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust helps young sportspeople on their way
Two youngsters excelling in their chosen sports are being helped on their way to the top by a trust created as a lasting legacy to South Tyneside teenagers Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.
Josh Blevin and Hugo Haggerty are both making names for themselves in the world of running and skiing respectively.
Hugo, 11, from Sunderland, is competing at international level in snow skiing after making the move from plastic slopes, while Josh, 13, from Tynemouth, has been winning medals and has been crowned Northern Champion for Cross Country for his age group.
Both schoolboys have recently received a helping hand to further their sporting achievements with a bursary from the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.
The charity was set up as a lasting legacy to Chloe, 17 and Liam, 19,, both from South Shields, who were killed in the Manchester Arena bomb attack last May.
It aims to help aspiring and talented young performers and sportspeople on they way to fulfilling their potential - something the teenagers were robbed of. Liam was a gifted cricketer who played for Marsden Cricket Club while Chloe was a talented performer.
Hugo started skiing at the age of six after he was taken to Silksworth Ski Slope in Sunderland by his parents.
He excelled on the plastic slopes competing at national level but has since progressed to competing on snow slopes.
The money from the Trust is enabling him to gain experience on snow-covered ski slopes in Landgraff in the Netherlands - the second largest ski centre in the world. He will also be heading out to Austria for training during the October half term.
The visits come ahead of Hugo competing in a forthcoming championship in Bormio, Italy.
His dad Matthew said: “Making the transition from plastic to snow is really difficult, as it is a completely different technique.
“Unfortunately, there is no where locally that can provide the kind of slopes Hugo needs to train on for the level at which he is competing.
“He has competed in international races, but while he scored his best results, he is not on the same playing field as the other competitors who have access to snow slopes all year round.
“The money we have been given from the Trust is going to make a huge difference as it has enabled us to be able to send Hugo to train on slopes which will help him further his technique.
“There is very little around funding wise for sports like this, until they are a lot older, there is nothing to support grass roots level, it is all down to ourselves as parents.
“Hugo really enjoys the sport and took to it like a duck to water. We think it is remarkable what the Trust is doing and we are ever so grateful for their support.”
Meanwhile, Josh is also making a name for himself in running after taking up the sport at the age of eight.
After joining North Shields Poly Running Club he began to compete, winning medals and championships wherever he went.
The teenager competes in races throughout the country - which comes at a cost.
Last year, he missed out on competing in a National race in London where the person who won, was a competitor Josh had beaten previously.
His mum Karen said: “There is just no funding for athletics which is what he wants to do. He was so disappointed when he couldn’t compete in London due to lack of funds.
“All he wants to do is run. He took part in an under 15s run in Liverpool and was one of the youngest ones competing and he done really well achieving a bronze medal.
“He is doing really well at the moment, and if we could afford it, he could compete more.
“The money from the Chloe and Liam Trust has been a godsend. I burst into tears when I was contacted and told Josh had been chosen for a bursary.”
This round of bursaries saw more than £50,000 handed out to teams and individuals to help them further their sporting or performance ambitions - including Tekkers Under 7s football team who were helped supported with their team kit for the season.
For details on the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust visit the charity’s Facebook page.