02:49AM, Thursday 14 November 2013
Young artists, performers and sports stars were awarded with bursaries at the Royal Borough's celebration of leisure and cultural achievements evening on Tuesday.
The bursaries, supported by the Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust and the Royal Borough, provide funding for promising youngsters to reach the next level in sport and their fields.
The ceremony took place at Maidenhead Town Hall and saw 74 young people awarded funding.
There were also three school sport awards and 11 coaching bursaries.
And it was a special night for Jim Thompson, who received a lifetime achievement award for his work developing young players at Maidenhead Hockey Club.
Multi-talented musician Bradley Cox, 14, is using the cash to pay for drum lessons.
The Cox Green School pupil plays several instruments and started learning guitar aged 8.
"I want a career in music," said Bradley
"I've had a couple of drum lessons now but they can get quite expensive."
Bradley twice played in Germany this year with the school's jazz orchestra and concert band.
"It was really good to get out and play some informal gigs which we all enjoyed."
St Pirans' pupil Madison Foxcroft won funding to continue her art.
The 10-year-old turned on the Maidenhead Christmas lights two years ago after winning an art competition. She enjoys 'having fun with art' and hopes to turn professional one day.
Championship winning ballroom dancer Sophie-Mae Smith will use her award to buy costumes.
Speaking of the bursary, she said: "It's really important for getting new costumes and into competitions."
Sophie-Mae is now aiming to compete the national ballroom dancing finals.
The Royal Borough's heritage and arts service manager, Margaret Kirby, said the bursaries are crucial in providing opportunities for young stars by paying for transport costs and extra lessons.
Helen Preedy, the council's sports development officer, said: "They are really important. Last year in the Paralympics we had Sophie Christiansen, who started her journey as a bursary winner."