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Date posted 22 May 2019

95 talented young athletes from Cardiff will benefit from a £60,000 fund to our GLL Sports Foundation which is the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK. And, this year marks its 11th year of supporting today and tomorrow’s athletes.

Our presentation event took place at the Glamorgan Cricket Club Stadium, Sophia Gardens on Monday 13th May at 6.00pm when the winners were announced and received their awards. 

Our supported athletes will receive award packages that include financial grants of up to £1,000, free training memberships to use at any of our leisure centres’ across Cardiff or across 300 our of leisure centres across the UK. Athletes will also benefit from access to sports science, medical support and employment opportunities all focussed towards supporting their athlete journey.

The main award, in memory of former Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan, was presented to 14 year old Zoe Backstedt from Llantrisant.  Zoe is considered to be one of the hottest prospects in cycling at the moment winning every major championship she enters, most recently the prestigious Gent-Wevelgem races in Belgium.  Zoe hopes the support from the GLL Sport Foundation will help her realise her dreams of becoming a professional cyclist.

A leading sportswoman, Welsh Rugby Union player Elinor Snowsill from Radyr, Cardiff, becomes an Ambassador.

Elinor has 53 caps for Wales including three World Cups and played in nine Six Nations tournaments.  She recently started at fly half for the Barbarians in a historic win v USA. 

Rhys Jones,  Better Cardiff Manager , commented:


“The wealth of young sporting talent within Cardiff’s local communities is truly inspiring. We are delighted to play our part in supporting the development of sporting talent across the city where GLL operates sports and leisure facilities. Our programmes are providing much needed financial support along with complimentary benefits such as free training facility use, sports injury treatments, physiotherapy and sport science support .”

“I would like to thank all of our partners and sponsors who make an essential contribution to the programme – together we re-affirm our commitment to GLL’s social enterprise principles to reinvest in sport and local communities”

Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said:

“For the last 11 years the GLL Sport Foundation awards have been offering vital support to athletes, some of whom have gone on to compete and win at the highest level, but awards have only been made in Wales since the start of our partnership in 2016.  Hopefully some of Cardiff’s recipients this year can do the same and eventually inspire more and more local children to get involved with sport.”

This year, GSF will support a total of 3,120 athletes across the UK, to the value of £1.8 million – including cash support totalling £360,000. The recipients are spread across 117 sporting disciplines.