Applications open 20th Dec - 20th Feb for talented young sports men and women from South Bucks to apply for a share of a £1million funding pot, out to help young sporting stars realise their dreams. Talented athletes have until 20th February 2019 to apply for financial awards of up to £1,250.

The funding is thanks to the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF), the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK, operated by charitable social enterprise, GLL.  With 76% of awards going to athletes under the age of 21, the  programme works in partnership with sport national governing bodies through the national charity SportsAid to support the next generation of sporting talent. 

In 2018, GSF supported 1500 athletes including 21 from South Bucks, these athletes included 17 year old local resident Annabel Dimmock, Annabel is a Great Britain golfer who competed at the 2014 Youth Olympics and also her first professional event in a very successful year.  “The GLL Sport Foundation award supports my coaching and training programmes as I focus on 1% gains every day”.

Another supported athlete is 17 year old James Taylor, James is a junior Great Britain sailor who has achieved great success in 2017 by becoming RYA Youth National Champion and competing in the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships.  “In the future I aim to move to the 470 the Olympic boat class, and the GLL Sport Foundation is supporting me along this journey”.

Sally Gunnell OBE, GSF Patron and former concurrent Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth 400m hurdles title holder explains, “From my own experience, starting out as a young athlete and progressing through my sport, I understand how important support from the Foundation is to the realisation of sporting ambitions.  Through the programme, we are providing the next generation of athletes with tangible support to make a real difference to their sporting journeys”. 

The GSF was launched in 2008 by Sally at the House of Commons.  Since then, the programme has provided over 6500 athlete awards across 95 Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sports with support worth over £3.8million.  A massive 90% of award recipients receive no other funding support, yet research by SportsAid shows their average annual expenditure is more than £6,000. 

GSF Chairman, Peter Bundey states, “It is crucial we support the talent and enthusiasm of our young sporting stars. We can help young athletes bridge the difficult leap from regional to national and international level as they start to become ready for senior competition”. 

“We are delighted to continue to work in partnership with SportsAid, who provide vital links between us and national governing bodies of sport. Working with SportsAid ensures our funding becomes part of the national talent development programmes, which is important for all sports and young sporting talent”.

SportsAid’s Chief Executive Tim Lawler adds, “Working with the GLL Sport Foundation enables us to help more young athletes and ensure the right people are funded at the right time”.

To be eligible for a grant, young sportsmen and women must live or be in education in a partnership where GLL or its partners operate; or be affiliated to a sports club that has a training base at a GLL or partner operated sport and leisure venue.  

To apply and find out further details of the scheme please go to the GSF website at www.gllsportfoundation.org.  Applications for 2018 awards are open until 20th February.

Each of the successful applicants will benefit from financial and or training awards.  Financial awards of up to £1,250 will support athletes associated travel, competition and equipment costings during the next 12 months.  Recipients will also benefit from sports performance support and training awards that allow free sporting access to more than 140 sport and leisure venues managed by GLL and partners across the UK.