Applications are open for talented young para-athletes across the UK to apply for funding for 2014 from the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) – an independent athlete support scheme which works in partnership with England Athletics through national charity SportsAid to support the next generation of sporting talent. Rising sport stars have until 20 February 2014 to apply for a share of the GSF funding pot of £1million.
In 2013, GSF supported 1300 athletes to achieve sporting success including 45 young wheelchair basketball players. One notable supported athlete is Jim Palmer who represented GB at the U23 World Championships, a competition where GB narrowly missed out on a bronze medal to Australia by one basket. Jim is also part of GLL Aspire London Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club that are focussed on further National success this year in the Superleague.
With this and many more phenomenal achievements GB are set for further success on both the junior and senior elite stage culminating at both the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and then the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
GSF understands the obstacles and barriers athletes face in reaching the top, a massive 90% of 2013 GSF award recipients received no other centralised funding while research by SportsAid shows their average annual expenditure is more than £6,000.
GSF was launched by charitable social enterprise, GLL, in 2008. Since then, the GSF has provided over 5000 awards across 80 Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sports with support worth over £2.8million.
Sally Gunnell – OBE, GLL Sport Foundation 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 support from the Foundation can be to the realisation of sporting ambitions”.
“We will now ensure that we take full advantage from the inspiration from the Games and harness the legacy for the gifted and talented youth of our nation”.
GLL Sport Foundation Chairman, Peter Bundey states, “It is crucial that we support the talent and enthusiasm of our young sporting stars. We can help young athletes bridge the difficult leap from regional to national 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 that 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. In the wake of London 2012 we know these athletes are more committed to sport than ever before but also more reliant on our support.”
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 2014 awards are open until 20 February 2014.
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 training awards that allow free sporting access to more than 130 sport and leisure venues managed by GLL and partners across the UK.
GLL is a charitable social enterprise that manages sport and leisure venues in partnership with local authority and public service organisations. For further information, visit www.gllsportfoundation.org