A total of 45 Team GB athletes competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games received financial and training support from the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF). The Foundation is the brain-child of GLL, the Country’s largest operator of public sports facilities.
The first 24 of the GSF athletes to compete were part of the Olympic Team that produced a stunning performance and surpassed the Olympic medal tally from London 2012 with 67 medals. The GSF supported Olympic athletes produced an impressive 7 medals, also beating the amount gained by GSF athletes in London (6). This included bronze for Dina Asher-Smith in the 4×100 relay alongside the other three girls in the quartet.
Dina Asher-Smith who has been supported by GSF since 2010 competed at her first Olympic Games in Rio. She reached the final and came 5th in the 200m, and was part of the 4x100m relay team that came home with the bronze medal. GSF have been supporting Dina throughout her meteoric rise through the athletics ranks. Dina said, “The GLL Sport Foundation has been a key supporter for me as I have progressed within athletics”.
Dina has juggled her training whilst also studying for a degree in History at King’s College, London. At 20 years old, she is the fastest British woman ever over the 100m and 200m. The GSF, partnered with SportsAid supported Dina from the very beginning and the country is now watching her thrive. Ahead of the Games, Dina spoke about how excited she was but played down the hype surrounding her chances of a medal. She said: “In terms of getting a medal and stuff I take things very much step by step”. Dina looks ahead to Tokyo 2020 where she hopes to peak and win a medal.
Former Olympic, World, European and Commonweath Champion Sally Gunnell; Patron of the GSF has remained committed to supporting young athletes since struggling herself to find funding support during her early years of competition “As Patron I have been able to proudly champion the need for positive recognition and tangible support directly to young sporting talent. I know from personal experience that many young athletes struggle to meet the costs associated with increased training and competition to reach their sporting dreams”.
The GSF is the largest independent athlete support programmes in the UK and in 2016 has supported over 2000 athletes with financial and range of training support. To date over £6.1million has been put into athlete support across Olympic, Paralympic, Special Olympic and Deaflympic sports. In partnership with SportsAid, the Foundation works directly with the established ‘talent pathways’ of Sport National Governing Bodies.
A massive 90% of award recipients receive no other centralised funding, with 73% of award recipients being 21 years old and under, and 35% aged 16 years and under.
Peter Bundey, GSF Chair stated “We are so delighted that these athletes delivered such fantastic medal-winning performances in Rio. Their performances captivated our Nation and will inspire so many other young athletes to strive to follow in their footsteps”.
With these successes and to inspire the next generation GLL are hosting Open Days at Better Leisure Centres all over the country in conjunction with ITV and I Am Team GB offering free tasters in a number of different activities on Saturday 27th August.
For details on the Open Days please view – http://www.better.org.uk/newsitems/better-host-free-family-sports-and-activities-open-day-as-part-of-the-nation-s-biggest-sports-day-i-am-team-gb-2016-08-23-14-49-00-0100
The medal winners roll of honour show an impressive 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals:
- Gold – Constantine Louloudis (Rowing men’s 4)
- Gold – Scott Durant (Rowing men’s 8)
- Silver – Lutalo Muhammad (Taekwondo -80kg)
- Silver – Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Rowing women’s 8)
- Bronze – Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics 4x100m relay)
- Bronze – Daryll Neita (Athletics 4x100m relay)
- Bronze – Tom Daley (Diving synchronised 10m platform)
For full details on supported athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games please view – www.gllsportfoundation.org
Image: Dina Asher-Smith (Far right) (4x100m Relay bronze medalists) – photo from the Rio 2016 Games.
Image: Dina Asher-Smith racing in the 200m out in Rio