Charitable social enterprise and the UK’s largest leisure operator is set to support Lambeth athletes in 2018 through their athlete support programme, the ‘GLL Sport Foundation’.

The GLL Sport Foundation is an athlete focussed support programme providing athletes across the UK with tangible support to aid their sports performance, support includes training membership access to over three hundred venues across the UK, access to physio and injury rehab support and financial awards up to the value of £1,250.

Applications for athletes are open until 20th February 2018 via the website portal – www.gllsportfoundation.org

Across the UK it is projected three thousand athletes will be supported in 2018; it will mark a special milestone for the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme as the programme turns ten years, over which period it will have provided sixteen thousand athlete awards at a value of £9million.

The Foundation is directly aligned to National Governing Body of sport talent pathways, and with National partnerships with SportsAid and the Mary Peters Trust it ensures that the right awards are provided to the right athletes at the right time. 

These partnerships ensures that the Foundation can make most impact to athletes that are transitioning from national to international level and with 74% of athletes being aged under twenty one and 87% of athletes receiving no other funding support, the impact of the Foundation is significant.

Rayell Eytle-Rock (Basketball) – “The funding from the GLL Sport Foundation in partnership with SportsAid is extremely beneficial to me; it helps provide assistance to further my basketball career. This includes extra equipment required to enhance my performance. The funding will play a key role in developing my skills and take off the financial burden attached with being an athlete. My future aspirations include, been awarded a full scholarship in a school that can take my basketball career to a higher level.”

Eden Cheng (Diving) – “The GLL Achievement Award last year enabled me to continue and improve upon my intensive training program. The award has provided me with recognition and also support with prompt and immediate physiotherapy treatment during injury. Being currently ranked 1st in 2 out of the 3 individual disciplines at National Age Groups, my aspiration in 2017 is to 'break into' the junior GB diving squad, and my ultimate aim is to compete in the Tokyo Olympics Games 2020. I hope that GLL Sport Foundation can continue to support me in reaching my goal.”

 Video interview snapshot from double Olympic taekwondo medallist and ambassador Lutalo Muhammad - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaaLcJwPnPI

Since the programme was launched in 2008 at the House of Commons the programme has been under the Patronage of one of GBs greatest athletes Sally Gunnell OBE, who today still remains the only athlete to hold consecutive Olympic, World and Commonwealth titles.  Sally explained “When I was first introduced to the GLL Sport Foundation in 2007 and the opportunity to come on board as Patron was offered to me it was a simple yes as achieving peak sport performance as an athlete and inspiring and supporting athletes to achieve their goals have been key drivers for me through my life; so there was an obvious direct synergy”.“When we launched the programme in 2008 at the House of Commons I was positive with regards to the impact we could make to athletes across London, this same position is true today but to be able to do this across the UK where we are today supporting athletes across seventy five parts of UK including areas in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, is testament to the programme that GLL created”.

“I am proud to be Patron and with GLL at the helm of this programme I know the Foundation will deliver equally positive results into the years ahead; and play a greater role in the sporting pathway with centralised sport funding being squeezed further, and most importantly impact thousands of athletes sporting journeys which in turn will positively impact their local communities”.

Peter Bundey Chair of the Foundation further highlighted the network the programme works within “I would like to thank all councils; sponsors and partners to the Foundation over the length of the programme, your commitment has contributed to its success greatly”.

“Finally; I would like to thank all the athletes you have delivered such phenomenal sporting successes and inspired future generations of athletes to achieve their goals and our wider communities to be more physically active. We look forward to supporting you and future generations of athletes for years to come”.