As the Olympics are formally handed over from Beijing to London this week, top athletes across North Devon have the chance to join a new scheme to help them reach their full potential. North Devon Council's Free Access for National Sports People (FANS) s

AS the Olympics are formally handed over from Beijing to London this week, top athletes across North Devon have the chance to join a new scheme to help them reach their full potential.North Devon Council's Free Access for National Sports People (FANS) scheme allows national level sports people to use facilities at North Devon Leisure Centre and Ilfracombe Swimming Pool free of charge. The scheme is run in partnership with Parkwood Leisure and aims to reduce the financial burden of training costs for local, elite athletes. It is open to sports people who:* Have represented the country in the last 12 months* Live in the North Devon Council area* Are 14 years or older* Provide evidence of their involvement at a national level from the appropriate National Governing Body of SportMembership of the scheme is renewable each year.Cllr David Butt, Lead Member for Cultural Services (Youth and Diversity) says: "Many national athletes receive little or no financial support for the additional training and costs needed to compete at the top level. This is a fantastic scheme to help local sports people reach their full potential."The scheme is the idea of Sport England and supports the Council's commitment to provide accessible leisure opportunities to all members of the community.National level sports people in North Devon who would like more information about the scheme can contact Mark Kentell, North Devon Council Leisure and Health Officer on 01271 388200 or email mark.kentell@northdevon.gov.uk.