BUDE girls Becky Copplestone and Nikki Bromwich are to be congratulated for their brilliant youth project 'Friday Night Splash' having recently been awarded as 'Best Youth Project' by the Cornwall Community Foundation and presented by Camilla, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.

Monday, July 12 was also a very special day for Community Action Through Sport (CATS), who supported Becky and Nikki, both 15-years-old, with their fantastic Friday Night Splash (FNS) project — giving access to swimming and break dance on Friday nights in Bude from January to June this year.

Nikki and Becky established FNS when they saw the need to draw young people away from nuisance behaviour on the estates in Bude and give them access to swimming and activity. The programme run as a pilot scheme and has an enormous positive impact on the local community. To ensure the scheme can continue in September, CATS, who have supported the girls with their volunteer programme applied for funding through Cornwall Community Foundation. They were granted £3,410 to fund the difference in cost needed to ensure that young people from Bude and the surrounding area can still have access to swimming on a Friday night for £1.

Denise May, founder of CATS, said: "We were amazed at the award! We truly thought that we were going to Truro to display the project and thank the Cornwall Community Foundation for their generosity, because without this funding the project would not be able to continue during the coming winter. The girls have worked so hard and Friday Night Splash has been a massive success, so it is wonderful that they have been recognised."

Bude Neighbourhood Beat Manager and acting Sergeant, Kevin Bennett, said: "As a result of the Friday Night Splash project, which has seen an average of 150 youngsters attending weekly, I have personally seen a marked reduction of youths congregating at popular gathering points in the town. Youngsters can attend swimming at a price they can afford and for many girls, it is a physical activity outside of school PE lessons."

He added: "The young people who established the project have taken full responsibility for the scheme and have built strong inter personal skills. This is a scheme that can be rolled out elsewhere."

Becky Copplestone was too overwhelmed to personally receive the award from the Duchess of Cornwall, but speaking on behalf of herself and Nikki, she said: "It was fantastic and completely unexpected. We had no idea that our project would be awarded. We are actually quite proud and it is really great to be recognised for our work."

CATS, which has several branches across Cornwall, promotes, recognises and rewards all young people for positive community action with sports based awards — so even though Becky and Nikki have been publically recognised with a Level 5 CATS award for their work, an award ceremony by the Duchess of Cornwall at Truro Cathedral will be a tough one to beat!