A charitable social enterprise and the UK’s largest leisure operator is set to support athletes in Bath and North East Somerset in 2018 through their athlete support programme, the ‘GLL Sport Foundation’.
The GLL Sport Foundation is an athlete focussed programme providing athletes across the UK with tangible support to aid their sports performance.
The programme includes training membership access to over three hundred venues across the UK, access to physio and injury rehab support and financial awards up to the value of £1,250.
Applications for athletes are open until 20th February 2018 via the website portal – www.gllsportfoundation.org.
Across the UK, it is projected three thousand athletes will be supported in 2018; marking a special milestone for the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme as the programme turns ten years, over which period it will have provided sixteen thousand athlete awards at a value of £9million.
The Foundation is directly aligned to National Governing Body of sport talent pathways, and thanks to national partnerships with SportsAid and the Mary Peters Trust, it ensures that the right awards are provided to the right athletes at the right time.
The partnerships ensures that the Foundation can make the most impact to athletes that are transitioning from national to international level, and with 74% of athletes being aged under twenty one and 87% of athletes receiving no other funding support, the impact of the Foundation is significant.
Supported athlete Anna Burt, who won a silver medal for 800m at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas last year, explained: “An award is incredibly supportive for my aspirations this year.
“It makes it possible for me to travel to find greater competition in the UK which gives me more experience in preparation for international competition. In addition, an award allows me to cover my own training costs, kit, competition entry, etc.”
Since the programme was launched in 2008 at the House of Commons, it has been under the Patronage of one of GBs greatest athletes Sally Gunnell OBE, who today still remains the only athlete to hold consecutive Olympic, World and Commonwealth titles.
Sally said: “When I was first introduced to the GLL Sport Foundation in 2007 and the opportunity to come on board as Patron was offered to me it was a simple yes as achieving peak sport performance as an athlete and inspiring and supporting athletes to achieve their goals have been key drivers for me through my life; so there was an obvious direct synergy.”
Peter Bundey, Chair of the Foundation, further highlighted the network the programme works. He added: “I would like to thank all councils; sponsors and partners to the Foundation over the length of the programme, your commitment has contributed to its success greatly”.
“Finally; I would like to thank all the athletes you have delivered such phenomenal sporting successes and inspired future generations of athletes to achieve their goals and our wider communities to be more physically active.
“We look forward to supporting you and future generations of athletes for years to come.”