Forty talented fencers have benefitted from a £33,050 award pot – thanks to charitable social enterprise GLL through its athlete support programme the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) the largest independent programme in the UK, in partnership with SportsAid and British Fencing.
The programme is focussed on supporting the fencing talent pathway and funding is designed to help young athletes with 68% of awards recipients aged under 21. These are difficult ages for young athletes, when funding is not easily available and the costs of competition and training are high. Indeed 68% of GSF award recipients also receive no other sport funding.
GSF Patron and former Olympic champion Sally Gunnell explained the core role the Foundation takes in supporting the next generation of athletes and thus ensuring a sporting legacy is in place not only for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in 15 months time but towards the 2020 Tokyo and the 2024 Games. “It is vitally important that we inspire young people to excel in sport and harness their talent towards future Games”.
“From starting out as a young athlete and progressing through my sport, support through your development years is crucial; I am delighted that through this programme I am able to champion such support for sporting talent.”
Peter Bundey, Chair of the GLL Sport Foundation, paid tribute to the core role partner organisations play for the GSF “I would like to thank all our partners, sponsors and supporters as their roles are crucial to the success of this programme. SportsAid provide the direct links to Sport Governing Body talent pathways, our corporate sponsors and numerous local authority, university and sporting partners vitally finance and support these sporting dreams become a reality”.
GSF supported ambassador and GB senior fencer 23 year old James-Andrew Davis explained how the programme is supporting his quest for continued success “The continued support from the GLL Foundation without doubt has enabled me to continue training at the level I have been. It has provided the support which helped me attend some international training camps with world class athletes, crucial to my development. My results last year as European Champion demonstrated the dedication and work I have put in. I want to continue to represent GBR and have results that maintain GBR at the highest international rankings”.
Another GSF supported fencer is 14 year old Yasmin Campbell who achieved two top 50 finishes in both the Junior European and World Championships explained how the support is supporting her aspirations “The award has enabled me to attend events which would have not been possible without it. My long term ambition is to be selected for the 2020/24 Olympic Games”.
British Fencing’s Performance Director, Alex Newton said; “We are grateful to GLL who have provided financial assistance to many athletes over the past few years. These grants provide much needed support to athletes with aspirations to perform at the highest level.”
Supported athletes receive award packages that include financial grants of up to £1,250 used to fund competition expenses and sporting costs, training memberships enabling venue access across GLL and partner operated venues to supplement their core training programmes; and access to sports science, performance sport and employment opportunities all focussed towards supporting their athlete journey.
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