GSF Athlete From Swindon grabs brace of medals at The Commonwealth Games
GSF ATHLETE FROM SWINDON GRABS BRACE OF MEDALS AT THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Laura Halford, 18, from Swindon is relishing her new role as poster girl for the sport of rhythmic gymnastics after winning three medals for Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
Laura is one of 9 talented athletes in Swindon supported by the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) - the athlete support programme run by charitable social enterprise, GLL, in partnership with Swindon Borough Council.
When interviewed by the GLL Sport Foundation, Laura explained her Commonwealth experience and the support she has received:
What competing in the Games meant to you?
“Competing in the Games was very important to me because I never normally get to represent Wales in such a large competition, I would normally represent Great Britain. It was so nice being able to compete for Wales because I have had o much support from Welsh Gymnastics so it feels like doing well at this competition has given something back to them”.
What winning the medals means?
“Winning the silver medal in the team competition meant so much because we have been training for the past two years together as a team and have grown really close bonds with each other. We have all experienced each others ups and downs and have been training extremely hard for this event so winning the medal just showed that the all hard work was definitely all worth it”.
“Winning the bronze medal in the individual all around competition came as a complete shock as I did not expect to win an individual medal at all at this Games. This was only my first major international competition and I did not think that an individual medal was a realistic target for me. I could not believe it at all when I saw myself in 3rd position, it was more than I ever imagined”.
What support the GLL Sport Foundation has made to you and achieving this success?
“The GLL Sport Foundation has been massively helpful in preparation for the Games. The money helped with the travel costs to Cardiff as I was travelling there every week from Swindon so that I could train with the rest of my team before the Games. It also helped to pay for my leotards which cost around £500 each and I need four, and my equipment that I use to compete with”.
What is your next target?
“I am now back in Swindon while I am preparing for the World Championships in September”.
The Foundation saw 37 athletes compete at the games in Glasgow, bringing home five gold, six silver and eight bronze medals – across a broad range of sports from rhythmic gymnastics through diving to judo and weightlifting. This scale demonstrates the achievement of a core objective in supporting the next generation of emerging sporting talent.
Peter Bundey who is the Chair of the GLL Sport Foundation stated “We're delighted at the success of our GSF athletes at the Commonwealth Games. In the build up to the games, it was also pleasing to see how the Foundation can help make a direct difference to athlete success. There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in helping young sporting talent and the success of the Foundation is testament to our network of local authority, sport governing body and university partners”.
The GSF and supported partner medal winners at the Commonwealth Games were:
- Athletics (4x400m relay) – Daniel Awde, Nigel Levine and Conrad Williams
- Diving (10m platform individual) – Tom Daley
- Shooting (50m rifle) – Daniel Rivers
- Weightlifting (58kg) – Zoe Smith (Greenwich Starting Blocks athlete)
- Judo (60kg) – Ashley McKenzie (Westminster Champions of the Future athlete)
- Athletics (Decathlon) – Ashley Bryant
- Diving (10m platform synchro) – Tom Daley
- Gymnastics (rhythmic gymnastics) - Laura Halford
- Judo (78kg) – Gemma Gibbons (Greenwich Starting Blocks athlete)
- Athletics (Para Discus) – Aled Davies (Halo Sport Foundation: Bridgend athlete)
- Table Tennis (mixed doubles) – Tin Tin Ho (Westminster Champions of the Future athlete)
- Athletics – (200m) Bianca Williams
- Athletics (4x100m relay) – Ashleigh Nelson and Bianca Williams
- Athletics (4x400m relay) – Margaret Adeoye and Victoria Ohuruogu
- Athletics (Discus) – Jade Lally
- Gymnastics (Rhythmic gymnastics) – Laura Halford (2 x bronze medals)
- Shooting (10m rifle) – Daniel Rivers
- Lawn Bowls (team competition) – Paul Taylor (Halo Sport Foundation: Bridgend athlete)
The athletes supported by the GSF represent more than 95 Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sports, with 76% of all awards going to athletes aged under 21.
The GSF works in partnership with SportsAid to ensure funding gets to emerging talent. 90% of all award recipients receive no other sport funding. Supported athletes benefit from financial training grants of up to £1,250 as well as training memberships at GLL and partner operated venues. Athletes also have access to further support opportunities targeted towards sports science, performance sport and coaching qualifications.
To be eligible for a grant, each of the 1500 talented young athletes had to live, be in education or
affiliated to a sports club in a nominated borough or district where GLL or its partners operate. For more information visit the GLL Sport Foundation website www.gllsportfoundation.org
Notes to editors
- The GLL Sport Foundation is a subsidiary organisation of GLL – www.gll.org
- Launched at the House of Commons in 2008 by Sally Gunnell – OBE and Patron of the GLL Sport Foundation
- The GLL Sport Foundation works in direct partnership with SportsAid ensuring support is aligned to National Governing Body of Sport talent pathways
- The GLL Sport Foundation operates across 32 partnerships where GLL and our partner leisure trusts operate sport and leisure venues on behalf of local authority and sporting partners
- The GLL Sport Foundation works in partnership with local authority and sporting partner athlete support programmes where relevant
- Full list of supported athletes will be available at – www.gllsportfoundation.org
- The GLL Sport Foundation is funded and supported by:
GLL – a charitable social enterprise for all the community: www.gll.org
TechnoGym – the Wellness company: www.technogym.com/gb
SRS – complete retail solutions: www.srsleisure.com
Speedo – the world’s best swimwear brand: www.speedo.co.uk
Selecta – vending services: www.selecta.co.uk
Zurich – insurance based solutions: www.zurich.co.uk
Margolis – business systems: www.margolis.co.uk
Communisis – communicate more profitably: www.communisis.com
Insite – flexible IT services delivered: www.insite-europe.co.uk
KJ Evans Electrical Limited: www.kjevanselectrical.co.uk
Taylor Made Designs – printed & merchandise solutions: www.taylormadedesigns.co.uk
Cofely-GDF Suez –leading providers of integrated services: www.cofely-gdfsuez.co.uk
Pumps & Motors Ltd – services to industry: www.pumpsmotors.co.uk
McCabe Ford Williams, Middlesex University, Physiotherapy Solutions and Tennant Group
SportsAid – helping talented young British athletes www.sportsaid.org.uk
- Contacting the GLL Sport Foundation:
For further press information
Carole Pendle / Seph Kenton
Tel: 07768 462601 / 07977 904244