Ellie Simmonds

At the age of 13, Ellie was the youngest British athlete at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, competing in the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, 50m butterfly, and 200m Individual Medley. She won gold medals in the 100m and 400m freestyle events.

On 1 September 2012, Simmonds repeated her gold performance to win the 400m freestyle at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, in which she took five seconds off the World Record time. Two days later, on the evening of 3 September, she took Gold in the 200m Individual Medley, breaking the World Record that she had set in the qualifying round that morning.

On 12 September 2016, at the Rio Paralympics, Ellie defended her Gold medal for the 200m individual medley setting a new world record, the first below 3 minutes at 2:59.81 Simmonds also won a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle at the 2016 paralympics.

In addition, Ellie has won ten gold World Championship titles.

Tom Daley

Tom burst on to the scene in 2009 when he was crowned the World Champion at the age of 15. Since, he has won two gold medals for England at the 20120 Commonwealth games, and a bronze at London 2012, which is where his popularity grew. Tom medalled at the European Championships in 2016 and gained a bronze medal in the 10m synchro at Rio 2016. Tom’s won the gold medal in the 10m platform event at the FINA World Championships held in Budapest. His latest achievement was taking Gold in the men’s 10m synchro at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Lutalo Muhammad

Lutalo Muhammad is a two-time Taekwondo Olympic Medallist and two-times World Grand Prix Champion.

“I love Olympic sports and value the role of guiding young sporting talent and one-day hope to be involved in developing the future direction of British Sport. In my career I have had my ups and downs but have always been positive and against great odds I have managed to triumph. I am interested in, and excited by the transformational effects of sport on people regardless of background. Sport is the ultimate equalizer and when organised it demonstrates some of life’s oldest and purest qualities. It lowers life’s many barriers and delivers opportunities, to those in need, those at the margins of society those that seek life’s boundless opportunities through sport.”

“I take great pride in being a member of Team GB, the greatest team in the world and I do recognize that my Olympic success has given me a fantastic platform and I am delighted to use it to encourage and support my fellow athletes as a 2018/19 GLL Ambassador.”

Cherrelle Brown

“I have been an amateur boxer for the last 6 years and it has been the best time of my life. However, due to the lack of weights in the women’s Boxing, I am unable to compete in the commonwealth games and the Olympics. My journey doesn’t stop there, the path only changes, to the new goal of becoming World Champion and joining the ranks of Anthony Joshua, Nicola Adams, Chantelle Cameron and Katie Taylor.  I am now becoming a professional boxer. With GLL support, I was able to secure 4 National Titles; one at novice level and three at Elite level in 2015, 2016 and 2017.”

Stephanie Slater

After a promising youth career as an able-bodied swimmer, she moved to train at the National Performance Centre in Swansea. During a normal training session after a dive into the pool, she sustained an injury to her arm which was diagnosed as nerve damage to her brachial plexus and ended her able-bodied swimming career.

Undeterred, she volunteered as a Games Maker at the London 2012 Paralympics in the Aquatics Centre which inspired her to get back in the pool as a para-swimmer. Only a year later she picked up two individual silver medals and a gold medal as part of the 4x100m medley relay team at the IPC World Championships in Montreal, Canada.

In 2014 she won a silver medal in a European record time in the S8 100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow. A week later Stephanie then went to the European Championships in Eindhoven and won five individual gold medals and two relay gold medals also breaking her first world record in the S8 100m butterfly. She went on to win a Paralympic gold and silver medal at the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016. Following this, she was awarded a MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Stephanie Millward

Stephanie Millward is a British Paralympic swimmer.

Stephanie has excelled at IPC Swimming European and World Championships, winning countless amounts of medals, most recently at the 2016 IPC Swimming European Championships where she won a medal of every colour in her individual events, plus gold in the medley relay.

Millward was previously a successful able-bodied swimmer who featured on the British international team before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 17 years old. She immediately made an impact on her international debut, winning five golds and a silver at the 2009 IPC Swimming European Championships in Reykjavik, Iceland. Millward was named as part of a 44-swimmer squad to compete for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, United Kingdom. At the Games she won her first Paralympic medal, silver in the 100 m backstroke S9. This was followed by four further medals. She won bronze in the  4 × 100m freestyle relay, a silver in 400 m freestyle S9, another silver came in the SM9 200m individual medley. Her fifth and final medal came in the 100-metre medley relay.

Susie Rodgers

Susie has won over 20 international medals to date, so it was no surprise when she was selected for Rio. At the IPC European Championships this year Susie won five gold medals, anchoring her place in the Great Britain Squad and showing why she was selected. Susie won a further three medals at the Paralympics in Rio, and has now chosen to retire from the sport.

Susie said, “I have been supported by GLL now for over 5 years and I continue to be very grateful for your support on my journey as a para swimmer. This year my funding through GSB has allowed me to access to train at various GLL leisure centres free of charge”

Hannah Russell

Hannah is a visually impaired para swimmer. She first broke onto the scene by winning a silver and bronze medal at the Paralympics in London 2012. Hannah bettered this in Rio by winning gold and setting a new world record in the 100m backstroke. Hannah also claimed three gold medals and European titles at the Dublin 2018 European Championships, each a straight final. Hannah is based in Manchester and trains at the Aquatics Centre which is run by GLL.

“Financial support from the GLL Sport Foundation has allowed me to purchase a new clock which has been a massive help for myself and other visually impaired swimmers that I train with. 2017 was a special year for me as I was awarded with my MBE at Buckingham Palace. I was so honoured that my achievements from Rio had been recognised in the New Years Honours List.”

Louis Rolfe

Louis Rolfe is a British Paralympic track cyclist. Rolfe came to note as a cyclist during the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships where he was part of the gold medal winning British team sprint event. Rolfe was inspired to take up para-sport after being inspired by the events of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in London.

“I have continued to work hard to keep improving my performance following the Rio Paralympic Games and have competed at the National Track Championships and the C1 International Paracycling cup this year and medalled at both events. I am still focused and very much loving my full time cycling life at present. The continued support from GLL means so much to me, I appreciate being able to use the excellent gym facilities very much.”

On 31 December 2016 Rolfe was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Christopher Boyadji

Christopher is competed in ice figure skating with fellow GLL Sport Foundation Ambassador Zoe Jones. Christopher moved to Swindon to partner with Zoe and continue his passion for skating. Christopher competed in the World Championships a few years ago, placing in the Top 20. With Zoe, the pair are the National Champions and aim to compete at the Winter Olympics in 2018. Christopher and Zoe both train at the Better Link Centre and are also ice skating coaches for GLL.

Jade Johnson

Jade represented Team GB at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in the Long Jump. Jade placed 4th at the 2003 World Championships and won a silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Jade has since retired but is still a Legacy Ambassador of the GLL Sport Foundation.

Jade said, “I want to continue to work with the GLL Sport Foundation as a Legacy Ambassador and pass on my experience and knowledge to aspiring young sports people.”

Joseph Ikhinmwin

Joseph is captain of the London Lions Basketball Team and has just signed for his sixth consecutive year. The London Lions are in the Premiership and have come in the top half of the table the past few years.

Joseph said, “Without the GLL Sport Foundation award and support you provide me personally, I may not be able to dedicate my full time to basketball and sustain the high performance level that I have in the past. With your support, me and the London Lions will continue to strive and achieve the success that we believe we can.”

Montell Douglas 

Montell is a former British record holder for the 100m. Montell represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics, and was part of the 4x100m relay team at the 2007 World Championships that finished 4th. Montell is 32, so coming to the end of her career but hopes to go to one more Olympic Games. Montell has now turned to Bobsleigh and is settling into the new sport very well.

Montell said, “As a senior athlete with recent injury battles and with no current assistance, GLL greatly helps with accessing training venues as well as the fantastic support provided with sport performance workshops and services.”

Jake Sheaf

Jake is partnered with fellow GLL Sport Foundation athlete Chris Gregory. Jake has competed in multiple World and European Championships all over the world representing Great Britain.

Jake said, “Chris and I continue to compete on the world stage in order to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We devote our whole time to training and competitions despite not receiving any UK Sport funding.”

Chris Gregory

Chris has competed in multiple World and European Championships all over the world representing Great Britain. He is partnered with fellow GLL Sport Foundation ambassador Jake Sheaf and they aim to one day make it to the Olympics.

Chris said, “Support from the GLLSF will allow myself and my team to further our professional development and compete at the highest level in our bid to qualify for future Olympic Games. It will allow us to reach competition venues and training camps with other high level opposition.”

Richard Kruse

Richard is an experienced fencer who went to his fourth Olympic Games in 2016. He was part of the 4 man squad including fellow GLL Sport Foundation supported athletes James-Andrew Davis and Marcus Mepstead in the foil team heading to Rio. Richard was part of the team that won a shock gold medal in the European Championships a few years ago. Richard had the most success for GB Fencing in Rio, finishing 4th.

Richard said, “Thank you very much for your support over the past few years. This year I need your support more than ever because UK Sport in a surprise move cut off all funding for fencing. Even though I came fourth in the Olympics, I will be without an APA this year.”

Lauren Cattell

Lauren has represented England at both 15s and 7s and has over 20 caps in 15s having competed in Six Nations, European & Autumn International and Summer Tour competitions. Lauren states “I have been fortunate to be contracted as a professional rugby player since September 2016-2017. Last year saw me compete on the World Series Circuit alongside the best Women’s Rugby players. Having had minimal experience to 7s before my contract, I have adapted and worked hard to learn the most from being involved within a professional programme.”

“The funding and support I have received in the past has without question proved extremely helpful and supportive when juggling professional sport alongside real life.”

Perri Shakes-Drayton

Perri had a very successful career in the 400m hurdles but has been forced to concentrate on the 400m due to a knee injury back in 2013. Perri won a bronze medal at the European Championships in 2010. Although Perri didn’t medal at London 2012,  she put in a brave performance and got through to the semi finals. The European 2013 Championships was Perri’s best performance winning a Gold running 50.85 seconds.

Perri has been battling injury for a number of years and is finally coming back into form. She was selected for the 4x400m relay at the London 2017 World Championships.

Zoe Jones

Zoe is based in Swindon paired with fellow GLL Sport Foundation ambassador Chris Boyadji. Zoe was very successful in the sport when she was younger, competing in the world championships in 1997 and 2001. She took a break from the sport and is now back with a vengeance, hoping to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics. In 2015 Zoe came 2nd overall in the British Championships and now as a pair, Zoe and Chris are the British Champions together.

Ekaterina Avramova

Ekaterina Avramova started her professional career in 2007. Ekaterina said: “I have been swimming for almost 20 years since I was a little girl. The dream of becoming an Olympian has been driving me all those years”. She is now a double Olympian from London 2012 & Rio 2016, currently training for Tokyo 2020. She is the current Turkish National Record holder in all backstroke events. Ekaterina is also a European Championship Finalist and World Championship Semi-Finalist.

Michael McKillop

Michael is an Irish middle distance para athlete. He has won many medals throughout his career.  Michael set two world records and won two gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics. Michael won another gold medal at the Rio Paralympics and a further two golds in front of the London crowd at the World Championships.

Michael said, “I have been given the chance to be the Belfast ambassador, this allows me the opportunity to inspire and link with the next generation of athletes. With the help of the GLL Sport Foundation young athletes will have the opportunity to gain vital resources to be able to train and compete at competitive level. Young athletes will have access to funding training and sports science support, all of which are vital to succeed in sport.”

Shelayna Oskan-Clarke

Shelayna is the current British 800m champion. She competed at the Rio 2016 Olympics and made it through to the semi finals, narrowly missing out on a place in the final. She also competed at the Athletics World Championships in 2017 in front of a home crowd. Shelayna took home the bronze at the World Indoor Championship in 2018.

Shelayna said, “Your support is beneficial in travel expenses to training because I travel to different locations during the week. Your support is also used to buy equipment that will help recovery after training and competition.”

David Wetherill

David Wetherill is a British international table tennis player who suffers from the rare bone development disorder Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia.

He has represented Great Britain at two international Paralympic Games, the first being Beijing in 2008 followed by London in 2012. He finished in the top 8 in the 2008 games and was knocked out after his second game in 2012. During the 2012 games he became known for playing what the Daily Mail called the ‘shot of the tournament’, after diving the width of the table to return a shot and secure a point. Wetherill won a bronze medal in the singles and a silver medal in the team event at the 2015 European Championships. On 9 March 2016 Wetherill was officially selected as a member of the GB Paralympic Table Tennis Team.

Daryll Neita

Daryll is still just 22 years old and has had a fantastic career so far. Daryll was part of the 4x100m relay squad that won bronze in Rio, alongside Dina Asher-Smith. Daryll also got through to the semi-finals in front of a home crowd at the London Athletics World Championships.

Daryll said, “My future aspirations are short-term; finish within the top 10 of the world, win a gold medal at world indoors 2018 and European Championships 2018 my, long term goal, Olympic champion.  GLL have supported me for a number of years and I couldn’t be more appreciative for the continuous support throughout my career so far.”

Conrad Williams

Conrad has been very successful in relay events winning eight senior international medals including gold in the 4x400m at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships in 2014. At London 2012 although Conrad didn’t advance past the semi-finals, he was part of the 4x400m relay team that came 4th.

Conrad said, “The award will help to play for warm weather camp in Orlando this year, the most important time of the year for my training cycle in the lead up to Rio.”

Lucy Charles

Lucy’s goal is to win the Ironman World Championships, hopefully this year. She would also like to retain her title at The Challenge Championships. “My other big goal is to go one place better at the Ironman European Championships and try to take the European title in 2018.”

Melissa Reid

Melissa Reid is a British Paralympic triathlete. She won a bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in the Women’s PT5.

“Taking 3rd at the Paralympic Games in Rio gave me even more motivation to continue on to Tokyo 2020 and improve on a bronze medal. 90% of my training is done in Cornwall where I live. Being able to train at home e makes it much easier and enjoyable. I use the leisure facilities most days and have done since I was 11 years old.”

Nick Miller

Nick Miller is a British track and field athlete who specialises in the hammer throw. He was the gold medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and also won a gold medal at the 2015 European Athletics U23 Championships. He holds the British record of 80.26m for the event.

He represented Great Britain at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics and the 2013 European Athletics U23 Championships. He studied at Oklahoma State University and is a five-time. Big 12 Conference champion.  His personal best in the weight throw of 23.07 m is the British record. He is also a two-time runner-up at the NCAA Championships.

Alexandra Rickham

Alexandra Rickham is a Paralympic sailor Rickham competed in the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition in the SKUD 18 two person keelboat class, where she finished fifth. Alexandra’s biggest successes to date are winning bronzes at the London 2012 Paralympics and Rio 2016 Paralympics. Unfortunately the event has now been withdrawn from the Paralympics.

Alexandra stated the GLL Sport Foundation ambassador award would help with training, equipment and competition costs.

Lucy Shuker

Lucy is a Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis player who made history at London 2012 winning Great Britain’s first ever women’s wheelchair tennis medal, alongside partner Jordanne Whiley. Lucy repeated this achievement by winning bronze at the Rio Paralympics in 2016. Lucy is currently the highest ranked woman in the sport in Britain.

Lucy said, “Competing in over 20 International tournaments every year, your support would be very much appreciated in helping me to supplement my training and contribute towards increasing travel and competition costs. The support from GLL was instrumental in helping me to train ahead of the Rio Paralympics and I would be delighted to continue as an Ambassador through to the Tokyo Paralympics.”

Zoe Smith

Zoe Smith is an English weightlifter. She holds four British clean and jerk records spread across three weight classes. In October 2010 Smith won a bronze medal in the women’s 58kg division at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, her first senior international competition, to become the first Englishwoman to win a Commonwealth Games weightlifting medal. Zoe represented Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics and finished a respectable 12th place in her weight class.

“The support I have continued to receive from GLL/Greenwich Starting Blocks has been invaluable to me as my income is minimal, working on a zero hour contract in between studying and heavy training. With your help I have been able to pay for my accommodation, training expenses and travel and entry to competitions. I really am very grateful for this support.”

Chloe Tutton

Chloe Tutton is a Welsh breaststroke swimmer. She won a Bronze medal in the individual 100 m and Gold in the 4×100m medley relay events at the 2016 European Championships, and competed for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Chloe won two Bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

“My main goal is to compete and medal at The Olympics Tokyo 2020. Receiving the award from you helps me massively as I’m a 22 year old in transition of moving to a new senior programme, and moving away from home is a huge step especially when relying on such little funding provided by the sport itself to cater for living arrangements, food, supplements etc. It really takes some weight off the shoulders knowing I have that bit extra that I can put towards a better life style by getting good quality foods in to fuel my training and also to just not have to worry so much financially would help my stress levels and in return possibly get better swimming results.”

Graeme Thomas

Graeme Thomas is among the world-class rowers to have progressed through the GB Rowing Team Start talent identification and development programme. Graeme is a former rugby union player who switched to rowing at the age of 20 and has already helped the men’s quadruple scull set new medal milestones at the World Championships. Graeme will be looking to build on all the experience he has gained during the lead up to Rio when unfortunately he was withdrawn a few days before competing due to illness. Graeme is looking ahead to Tokyo 2020 where he hopes to medal.

“The GLL foundation has supported me for a number of years now and even after the events in Rio 2016 they continued to support me and thankfully I was able to ‘bounce back’ sooner than I expected with a strange turn of events at the World Championships last year, winning silver in an event I wasn’t selected for, so thank you for your support.  I hope I can share this story of resilience with the younger GLL athletes as they start their sporting careers.”

Will Saunders

Will Saunders was one of a host of young players given their opportunity to play senior basketball for Great Britain in the summer of 2015. His journey which also involved time with Great Britain U20s

“My future aspirations include qualifying for the basketball world cup or any other major tournament with the GB team. I will continue to cherish playing for the GB team and am proud to do so. My goals for my personal career are simple; to go as far as I can possibly go in professional basketball. Having been a professional around Europe for three years I’m well experienced and know I can continue to grow in the sport. My dream would be to play in the Euroleague and in doing so compete at the highest level in Europe, and from there the NBA.”

Jonathan Webb

Jonathan, also known as JJ started fencing at the age of 11 and has worked his way up the ranks quickly. JJ is one of six British Sabre Fencers who was on the British Fencing World Class Programme. JJ’s ultimate goal is the medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. JJ is on the Greenwich Starting Blocks programme, working in partnership with the GLL Sport Foundation, and needs more support than ever now that the fencing funding has been cut.

JJ said, “I am very proud to have been awarded the Starting Blocks Ambassador Award and to have represented my borough in this role. It has been a privilege to act as a sporting ambassador and role model for the younger generation in the borough.”

Elinor Snowsill

Elinor Snowsill is a Welsh rugby union player who plays fly-half for Bristol Ladies and Newport Gwent Dragons. She made her debut for the Wales women’s national rugby union team in 2009.

“As a recipient of the generous support provided by the foundation last year, I am acutely aware of the benefit of being part of it.  The financial support is, of course extremely helpful when playing and training within your sport comes at a cost, but the GLL foundation also offers so much more than that. The experience of attending the awards ceremony was invaluable, in particular the opportunity to meet and connect with athletes from other sports in my area. More than anything, the feeling of belonging to a foundation who understands the challenges faced by athletes is a comfort.”