TEN up-and-coming athletes have been backed in a sports scheme.

They have been selected for Wigan Council's Believe Talent Fund,which provides up to £500 to cover expenses such as travel, accommodation, competitions, training fees or equipment. It is part of the local authority's Deal for Communities Investment Fund.

Leigh Miners Rangers rugby league player Calum Coleman, 17, who has been picked to play on the England Lions under 19s tour will be backed by the fund.

Leigh Harriers and Athletic Club member Keely Hodgkinson, 16, will use the support to help her to run in events across the country as well as compete in international races.

Tyldesley Water Polo Club player Holly Toone, 12, will use funds towards training with the England Academy Squad.

Wigan Council’s cabinet member for communities Cllr Chris Ready said: “It is fantastic that we are able to support these young sporting stars through the Believe Talent Fund.

"We want to encourage people to be active and healthy as part of The Deal and these athletes are great ambassadors for sport in Wigan borough.”

The Believe Talent Fund was launched by the local authority and Inspiring healthy lifestyles in 2015 and has helped more than 80 athletes.

It is open to young people aged between 11-24.

For more information about the scheme visit inspiringhealthylifestyles.org/believefund.