54 talented young athletes from Hillingdon will benefit from a £33,650 fund – thanks to charitable social enterprise GLL. The athletes will be supported through the ground breaking GLL Sport Foundation (GSF), the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK.
The athlete awards cover Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic, Special Olympic and Commonwealth sporting disciplines. With a staggering 89% of award recipients receiving no other sport funding and 73% of recipients being aged under 21, the Sport Foundation has highlighted a vital funding gap for young talented athletes currently competing and National and international levels.
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Athletics – 800m) – “My goals for 2017 are to qualify and medal at the Indoor European Championships and the World Championships 2017. I believe that I can be competitive for medals this year and I want to give myself the best opportunity and it’s the little bits that will really count. Your support is beneficial in travel expenses to training because I travel a lot to and from different locations during the week. I would also use your support to help buy equipment that will help recovery after training and competition to help me produce better performances.”
Alida Bogdanova (Gymnastics) – “One of my aspirations in my sport is to compete at the Commonwealth Games 2018. This financial support from the GLL Sport Foundation in partnership with SportsAid will allow me to compete at international events which are essential for the preparation towards my goal.”
GSF Patron and former Olympic Champion Sally Gunnell explained the core role the GSF takes in supporting the next generation of athletes and thus ensuring a sporting legacy is in place for future generation: “It is vitally important that we inspire young people to excel in sport and harness their talent towards future success.
From starting out as a young athlete and progressing through my sport, I know that support through your development years is crucial. I am delighted that through this programme I am able to champion such support for future sporting talent”.
Peter Bundey, GSF Chair, paid tribute to the athletes, programme stakeholders and also highlighted the impact the Foundation is making: “Congratulations to all of the athletes receiving awards. We know first hand the commitment, effort and sacrifices they are making to perform at their best.
I would like to thank all our partners and sponsors for their support for the programme. SportsAid, SportsAid Wales and Mary Peters Trust provide the direct links to Sport Governing Body talent pathways, whilst our many corporate sponsors headlined by GLL and Technogym, numerous local authorities, university and physiotherapy partners directly contribute to support these sporting dreams to become a reality”.
Since its launch in 2007, the GSF has provided over 13,000 athlete awards at a total support value of over £7.5million across the UK.
The Rio Olympics and Paralympics were a historic successes for Team GB, and the GSF supported athletes also broke the Foundation’s record medal haul with 20 medals won between them.
Supported athletes receive Award packages that include financial grants of up to £1,250, free training memberships enabling access across 300 GLL and partner operated sporting venues along with access to sports science, medical support and employment opportunities all focussed towards supporting their athlete journey.