Charitable social enterprise and the UK’s largest leisure operator is set to support Swindon athletes in 2018 through their athlete support programme, the ‘GLL Sport Foundation’. Applications for athletes are open until 20th February 2018 via the website portal – www.gllsportfoundation.org
The GLL Sport Foundation is an athlete focussed support programme providing athletes across the UK with tangible support to aid their sports performance, support 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.
Across the UK it is projected three thousand athletes will be supported in 2018; it will mark 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 with 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.
These partnerships ensures that the Foundation can make 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 Louise Hunt (Wheelchair Tennis) explained “I am aiming for the Tokyo Paralympics. Although I have already competed in 2 Paralympics, I still haven't achieved what I desire, a medal. This year I have reached my highest ever singles and doubles world rankings, and aim to continue to improve on these as well as my results next year! The award will help to continue to support my training program, in order to help me reach my goals and become the best athlete I can be.”
Video interview snapshot from double Olympic taekwondo medallist and ambassador Lutalo Muhammad - and GLL Sports Foundation Video 2017
Since the programme was launched in 2008 at the House of Commons the programme 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 explained “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”.
“When we launched the programme in 2008 at the House of Commons I was positive with regards to the impact we could make to athletes across London, this same position is true today but to be able to do this across the UK where we are today supporting athletes across seventy five parts of UK including areas in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, is testament to the programme that GLL created”.
“I am proud to be Patron and with GLL at the helm of this programme I know the Foundation will deliver equally positive results into the years ahead; and play a greater role in the sporting pathway with centralised sport funding being squeezed further, and most importantly impact thousands of athletes sporting journeys which in turn will positively impact their local communities”.
Peter Bundey Chair of the Foundation further highlighted the network the programme works within “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”.