Budding athletes and artists will be keeping their fingers crossed as the Royal Borough prepares to offer sports and arts bursaries to young people.

The one-off payments have previously helped up and coming dancers and sportsmen.

The grants are available to borough residents aged 25 and under and applications are open until Friday, June 22.

Cllr Samantha Rayner, cabinet member for culture and communities, said: “There is a wealth of talent in the young people of the borough and through the Royal Borough’s sports and arts bursaries we have been able to help them to reach their potential.

“We’re also delighted to help coaches continue the valuable work they do in our communities and recognise a local sporting hero through the lifetime achievement award.

"If there is someone you know who makes a difference to people’s lives through sport then let us know today.”

Tennis players Jemma Lancaster, 16, and her sister Eva, 12, of Maidenhead, both succeeded in getting grants in last year’s sports and arts bursaries.

Jemma said: “I’ve used the money to help with training at Maidenhead Lawn Tennis Club and at Bisham Abbey.

“I have won regional competitions and taken part in national ones. I’m hoping I can get a tennis scholarship to head to an American University.

“I started tennis when I was eight so I’ve been playing for around eight years, always in this area.”

The sports bursaries typically help towards coaching fees, equipment and clothing, training courses and travel expenses and are worth up to £250.

Oscar Ainscough, 18, of Woodlands Park, has benefited from the arts bursaries for the last five years as he has progressed towards becoming a professional dancer.

He said: “I’m really excited as I’m about to start my first ever job as a professional dancer at the Northern Ballet."

The arts bursaries are split into three categories of performing arts, decorative arts and new media such as film and video.

For more information on applying for the sport and coaching bursaries, or to nominate for the lifetime achievement award see: www3.rbwm.gov.uk/info/200156/community_grants/739/sports_bursaries/1 For more on the art bursaries see: www3.rbwm.gov.uk/info/200196/arts_and_culture/258/arts_bursary_funding_and_grants/1