GLL BACKS ATHLETE FUNDING TO TOKYO 2020
Charitable Social Enterprise GLL has positively backed supporting the next generation of athletes with the announcement it will invest over £5million into athletes across the UK through its athlete support programme the GLL Sport Foundation within the Tokyo cycle.
GLL is the UKs largest leisure operator and leading Social Enterprise operating across a network of 61 areas with partners. Athletes across this network will be eligible to receive tangible support.
Applications for the programme opened on December 20 2016 and are live until February 20 2017. Fencers from across the UK are encouraged to apply in, last year the GLL Sport Foundation supported 44 fencers at a support value of over £30k including Team GB athletes James-Andrew Davis, Richard Kruse and Marcus Mepstead.
Richard competed in his fourth Games in Rio and narrowly missed our on a medal placing fourth. Richard explained how the GLL Sport Foundation supports him as an and athlete and the next generation “GLL are a great supporter of mine, supporting with my costings and training demands, they are also ensuring future fencers can excel in the sport through supporting juniors coming through with vital support”.
The GLL Sport Foundation is the UKs largest independent athlete support programme since the programme launched in 2008, 10,600 athlete awards have been provided at a total support value of £6.1 million. 90% of award recipients don’t receive any other centralised support and with 75% of supported athletes aged under 21 the programme is focussed on the next generation of athletes across all Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sporting disciplines.
GLL Sport Foundation Patron Sally Gunnell explains the role the programme has to play “The support from the GLL Sport Foundation is essential for young athletes, and can sometimes be the difference between being talented, and taking the sport up to the elite level. I have experienced first hand the financial struggle of being on the fringes of elite sport, and support programmes such as the GLL Sport Foundation relieves some of the burden so that more time can be spent on performing at the highest level possible”.
The programme supported 59 and 45 athletes that competed at the Games in London and Rio respectively winning 33 medals combined and with this announcement GLL is focussed on increasing this number towards Tokyo and on to the 2024 Games.
The programme directly partners SportsAid, Mary Peters Trust and SportsAid Wales and through these partnerships provides tangible support to athletes across the UK that are within National Governing Bodies of Sport talent pathways from a junior to senior level.
Athletes from across the UK can apply for support through the GLL Sport Foundation from 20 December via the online portal www.gllsportfoundation.org, applications close 20 February 2017. Supported athletes access financial support, training membership support to Better leisure centres across the UK and also sport science and physiotherapy programmes.
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