17 talented young athletes from Brent will benefit from a £12,750 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.


Sheikh Sheikh (Para Athletics – Wheelchair Racing) – “I would like to continue to develop as an athlete and an individual, improving my times each season and competing at the best of my ability. The award helps me cover costs such as equipment purchasing, travel costs, entry fees and accommodation costs. It also helps relieve the financial stress upon my parents and allow me to focus and not worry about anything else. My future goals are to compete at Paralympic games, World championships and win gold medals together with setting new world records.”


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.

About GLL

Established in 1993, GLL is the largest UK-based charitable social enterprise delivering leisure, health and community services. Under it’s Better brand, the organisation operates more than 250 public sport and leisure centres and 88 libraries in partnership with 50 local councils, public agencies and sporting organisations. Better leisure facilities enjoy 42 million visitors a year and have more than 750,000 members.

As a social enterprise, GLL is committed to make community services better for everyone. In practice, that means investing all profits back into providing quality facilities and services across sport, leisure, library, cultural and childrens services. Alongside the organisation’s core leisure and library divisions, GLL runs sport development, health intervention and education, as well as offering the GLL Sport Foundation, the largest independent support programmes for talented young athletes in the UK.

GLL Sport Foundation History


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  • The GLL Sport Foundation was launched at the House of Commons in 2008.
  • The GLL Sport Foundation operates under the patronage of Sally Gunnell – OBE.
  • The GLL Sport Foundation is funded by:* 1st Tier Sponsors: - Technogymthe wellness company- Zurichinsurance based financial services- Insiteflexible IT services delivered - SRS Leisurecomplete retail solutions- Annodata – print and information communications - Taylor Made Designsbranded solutions* Supporters:      * Sport Science Partners: - London - Crystal Palace Physiotherapy Group, Middlesex University and London Sport Institute 
  • - Northern Ireland - Rebound Physiotherapy
  • - England – The Physiotherapy Clinic – Gosling, Physio Sport Science Centre – Bath University, Highworth Physiotherapy Clinic – Swindon, Osborne Clinic – Newcastle
  • - McCabe Ford Williams, and Tennant Group
  • - Pumps & Motors UK Ltdservices to industry
  • - KJ Evans Electrical Limitedelectrical and maintenance services
  • - Communisis – communication channelled
  • - Speedothe worlds best swimwear brand
  • * 3rd Tier Sponsors:
  • * 2nd Tier Sponsors:
  • - GLLleisure’s most successful social enterprise
  • The GLL Sport Foundation works in partnership with SportsAid and Mary Peters Trust to co-ordinate talent identification and national governing body funding recommendations.
  • The GLL Sport Foundation works in partnership with the following local athlete support programmes: Belfast Sports Awards, Hackney Youth Sport Fund, Halo Sport Foundation, Greenwich Starting Blocks, Lambeth Gifted and Talented Programme, Manchester Sport Foundation, Rugby’s Excellence in Sport Awards and West Oxfordshire Sports Awards.
  • For further information visit www.gllsportfoundation.org
  • Follow us on Twitter @gllsf
  • Follow us on Instagram @gllsportfoundation
  • Like us on Facebook – GLL Sport FoundationFor further details please contact – Wembley.leisurecentre@gll.org