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Women's Football News
Arsenal striker Lianne Sanderson is among several young female footballers and one of 800 young sportsmen and women who will be backed by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), getting underway this autumn. The initiative is designed to make it easier for young people, some of whom are from women's football, to continue to pursue their sporting careers after leaving school, instead of seeing raw talent go to waste.
TASS scholars, aged from 18 to 25 and in higher or further education, will receive sporting services worth £3,000 a year, including paying for the cost of coaching, sports science, physiotherapy and the use of training facilities. Bursaries, worth £1,000, will go to teenagers still in education or in first jobs.
Lianne joined Arsenal at the age of nine and made her first team debut five years later, scoring on her debut - one of the youngest players ever in the FA Women's Premier league. The striker played in Arsenal's winning FA Women's Cup Final team last season. "People assume I have not got any ambitions left, as I played for Arsenal and an England team at the age of 14 but I certainly do and I want to play for the full England team," said Lianne, one of the biggest rising stars in women's football..
Lianne, a student at Cator Park School, Beckenham, hopes to go semi-professional when she turns 17 and has longer-term plans to set up a summer school to coach children. She will receive a TASS bursary and is firmly behind the idea. "It is good to introduce something like this, especially for people who are not as fortunate as me, in having the facilities and people at Arsenal to work with," she said.
To be eligible for the grants, young sportsmen and women have to be nominated by one of the 47 sports' governing bodies that are backing the scheme. Fifteen sports for disabled people are included and their athletes can be aged up to 35.
Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, said: "All too often young people take part in sport at school, but then give it up soon after they leave. It can be really hard to combine a budding sporting career with college work, or a first job. The TASS scheme is intended to tackle this sad loss of sporting talent."
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