GLL – the UK’s largest leisure charitable social enterprise - has once again shown its commitment to improving health, wellbeing and opportunity in the communities it works in, by supporting the next generation of athletes to the tune of £1.2 million, via The GLL Sport Foundation (GSF).
The GSF is the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme. Since it launched in 2008, the programme has provided over 18,000 athlete awards, with a total financial value of £12.1 million.
The foundation provides athletes across 65 areas of the UK with financial help, physiotherapy, a ‘Better’ Gym membership and more. In the wake of a difficult two years, GLL continued with the programme in 2020 and 2021, investing in the development of local talent aspiring to follow previous supported athletes such as Susie Rodgers, Dina Asher-Smith and Lutalo Muhammad.
In 2022 GLL is investing over £1.2 million into local athletes aiming to follow in the footsteps of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic medallists such as Joe Choong, Matty Lee and Tully Kearney.
GSF athlete Joseph Choong won the Gold Medal in the Modern Pentathlon at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.
Commenting on the support he has received from the Foundation over the years, he said: “I have been a part of GSF since 2013 – they’ve been there to support large parts of my career and now seen me through to become an Olympic Champion.
“The importance of the GSF can’t be overstated. I look forward to helping the programme inspire younger generations into the future.”
Applications for the programme are open from December 20th 2021 until February 20th 2022 and athletes from the Manchester area are encouraged to apply. Last year, the GLL Sport Foundation in partnership with MCRactive supported 82 local athletes including Tully Kearney, Grace Harvey and MCR Sports Awards 2021 Junior Sports Achiever, Success Eduan.
63% of supported athletes were aged under 21 and the programme supports athletes across all Olympic, Paralympic, Deaf and Special Olympic sports. Most importantly 96% of the athletes supported do not receive any other funding.
Sally Gunnell OBE, still remains the only athlete to hold consecutive Olympic, World and Commonwealth titles. “From my own experience starting out as a young athlete and progressing through my sport, I understand how important the recognition and support from organisations like the GLL Sport Foundation can be to a young athletes. It can make the difference in achieving sporting ambitions.
This is ever-more important today as we recover from a difficult and challenging 2 years, where dreams have been put on hold and sport had to stop. Athletes can now refocus having re-started competition and working towards those goals with the support of the GLL Sport Foundation.”
Athletes from across the UK can apply for support through the GLL Sport Foundation via the online portal at: www.gllsportfoundation.org. Applications close 20th February 2022.
GSF works with partners: SportsAid, Mary Peters Trust and SportsAid Wales to provide tangible support for Britain’s next crop of talented athletes.