GLL Sport Foundation supported athletes selected for Rio
The GLL Sport Foundation has a total of 45 athletes that have been selected for the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio this year. We will be updating this list as and when athletes are selected. Sports including swimming, sailing and shooting have already made selection, with all other sports are finalising their teams in the next couple of months. Many of these athletes are GLL Sport Foundation ambassadors now on full time lottery funding, but are still grateful for the support and facilities that foundation provides. See below the athletes already selected and on their last training cycle before travelling out to Rio:
TEAM GB / PARALYMPICS GB
Tom Farrell (5000m), Daryll Nieta (100m), Dina Asher-Smith (200m), Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (800m), Jade Lally (Discus), Chijundu Ujah (100m), Nigel Levine (4x400m Relay), Bianca Williams (4x100m Relay), Margaret Adeoye (4x400m Relay) – The British Championships took place 24-26th June where 5 athletes guaranteed their selection to Rio by having at least 2 results of the qualifying standard, and finishing in the Top 2 in their event. A further 4 athletes have now been selected, bringing the total up to 9 supported athletes. The GLL Sport Foundation is proud to be supporting so many athletes over varying distances and events. Jade said, “I am personally funding my Olympic bid this year so any help would make a huge difference to me. It would go towards my flights, training camps, accommodation and equipment to name a few. I am on course for making my first Team GB appearance at the Rio Olympics, the award will go to a good place!
James-Andrew Davis, Marcus Mepstead, Richard Kruse (Fencing – Foil) – three GLL Sport Foundation ambassadors make up the four man Team GB foil team heading out to Rio. James and Richard are experienced fencers who have been to previous Olympics, and Marcus will be having his first taste of a Games. After a great team result at the European Championships winning gold, the team has great confidence going into the Olympics.
Marcus said, “The multilateral scope of the GLL Sport Foundation would give me the opportunity to help more people push towards their sporting goals. This year I was an integral part of the team that won Great Britain’s first European Games’ Gold. I feel that being an ambassador I can help to inspire the next generation.”
Aimee Willmott (Swimming) – Rio is Aimee’s second Olympics, she competed at London 2012 and is looking for a medal this time round. Aimee has won medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
Aimee said, “The GLL Sport Foundation provides great support for talented athletes and I myself have benefited from this. The support from the GSF is amazing, as having another team believe in my potential is really encouraging. The monetary funding this year has allowed me to recently compete in France in a very international competition, which I learnt a lot from. The funding and support continues to help with all aspects of training and I thank them for all their help.”
Katie Clark (Synchronised Swimming) – Rio is Katie’s second Olympics, after competing at London 2012 in the team event, coming 6th. Katie’s sporting hero is French synchronised swimmer Virginie Dedieu, who has attended three Olympic Games and won duet bronze in Sydney 2000. Katie is partnersed with Olivia Federici, who also competed on the same team at London 2012. Katie said, “It’s exciting to be part of Team GB again after being selected for Rio 2016 which will be my second Games.”
Katie said, “I am an unfunded athlete and still a student, so an award would be greatly appreciated. I aim to increase the profile of the sport and encourage the aspirations of younger swimmers.”
Alexandra Rickham (Para Sailing) – Rio is Alexandra’s third Paralympics, and she came away with a bronze medal in London. A lack of wind on the last day of racing denied Alexandra and her partner Niki Birrell an opportunity to race for silver. Alexandra and partner Niki are looking to go for gold out in Rio.
Alexandra stated the GLL Sport Foundation ambassador award would her with the purchase of sails for the 2016 European race season in the lead up to Rio.
Tully Kearney (Para Swimming) – R io will be Tully’s first Paralympics. Tully broke onto the scene in 2015 when she won six medals at the IPC Swimming World Championships and setting European Records in three events. Injury during the Para Swimming International 2016 curtailed her progress and she missed out on the team for the IPC Swimming European Championships in 2016, but her incredible performances to date has given her selection for the Paralympics out in Rio. Tully is the first ambassador of the Manchester Sport Foundation partnership with the GSF.
Susie Rodgers (Para Swimming) – Susie Rodgers has been supported by GLL and Greenwich Star ting Blocks for over 5 years now and does some of her training at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre which she gets access to free of charge. 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 Susie won five gold medals, anchoring her place in the Great Britain Squad and showing why she was selected. Susie was part of the relay squad that won gold and said, “It means the world, these girls were amazing. I always need them to give me a great leg and they really did and they gave me such a lead so I just needed to hang on.”
Amy Marren (Para Swimming) – Amy was ill throughout the 2015 season and has made an amazing comeback to be selected as part of Team GB out in Rio. At only 17 years old, Amy has already broken on to the senior circuit winning international medals. Amy currently holds British records in the 200m Backstroke (S9) and the 800m Freestyle (S9). At London 2012, Amy made her Games debut as one of the youngest athletes in ParalympicsGB. She recorded personal best times in all of her events and qualified for two Paralympic finals. Four years on, we look forward to seeing what Amy can achieve in Rio.Paul Davies (Para Table Tennis) – London 2012 was Paul’s Paralympic debut where he came away with a bronze medal. Paul has been injured throughout 2015, but is now fully fit and hoping to win gold this time round out in Rio. Paul said the award helps him to purchase important Table Tennis equipment and helped him on the road to Rio. Paul is supported through the Halo Sport Foundation partnership.Jane Campbell (Para Table Tennis) – A bronze medal at London 2012 crowned a successful Paralympic debut for Jane. The bronze medal match at London was an exciting feat, where Jane and her good friend and partner Sara Head came back from 2-0 down to clinch the bronze in front of a cheering home crowd. Jane said, “I am delighted to have qualified for the Rio Paralympics. I am always very grateful for the additional support, which helps to make training and competing as elite as possible.”
Aaron McKibbin (Para Table Tennis) – Aaron was part of the Great Britain Team at Lon don 2012 and brought home a bronze medal from the men’a class 6-8 team event. To secure his Paralympic selection, Aaron went to the China Open and responded superbly to the pressure beating the Chinese world number two to take gold in the singles and secure his selection.
Aaron said, “The support awarded will help cover cost for equipment throughout the year so I can have the highest quality equipment for each competition. The funding will help me increase the training and go to international competitions abroad to give me every advantage when it comes to improving and being as ready as I can for the Games.”
Joy Haizelden (Wheelchair Basketball) – Joy made her major senior debut for Great Britain at the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships, assisting the team to their highest ever world championships finish at just 15-years-old. The following year, she played a crucial role in the GB Women’s European Championship campaign – securing the nation a bronze medal and a qualification place for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
One of the youngest players on the GB team, Joy is nevertheless quickly making her mark on the international stage having represented her country at the U25 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships. She was also part of the team crowned the Women’s 2015 U25 World Champions in Beijing, China.
Joe Choong (Modern Pentathlon) – Joe had achieved the qualifying quota last year, but he has to wait until now to be officially selected. As the top Brit, Joe has high hopes of doing well and reaching the Top 10. Joe said, ‘The Olympics has been a dream since I started the sport in Year 9 at school. When you start a sport and start doing well, you always keep looking at the next level and thinking bigger, and it doesn’t get any bigger than the Olympics. I watched London 2012 and that definitely motivated me to try and get to the next Games. It’s a big moment for me.’
Helen Jenkins (Triathlon) – Helen will be bringing her past Olympic experience from Beijing and London out to Rio. She also won the World Championships in 2008 and 2011. The team of six has been selected and Helen is looking forward to another chance to win a medal. Helen wants to inspire the next generation from her hometown area of Bridgend and is supported by the Halo Sports Foundation.
Constantine Louloudis, Scott Durrant, Graeme Thomas, Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Rowing) – Four rowers supported by the GLL S port Foundation have been officially selected for the Team GB squad at the Olympics in Rio. Constantine, is an ambassador for the GLL Sport Foundation and won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, will be looking to medal once again. He will be part of the men’s four, one of the strongest boats in Team GB. Scott is one of the men’s pairs, Graeme part of the men’s quad, and Olivia part of the women’s eight. Graeme said, “Any monetary support would help me invest in expensive rowing equipment to ensure that I can demonstrate my best performance without any hindrance from old equipment. The GLL Sport Foundation has been fantastic so far in my journey and it would be brilliant to go the whole way with their support and win medals for Great Britain.” Rowing is one of Britain’s strongest sports, and we are excited to be supported these four athletes who are heading to the Olympics.
Megan Giglia (Para Cycling) – This will be Megan’s first Olympics, and she has been training with the Great Britain Cycling Team for nearly 2 years. At the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Megan enjoyed the best week of her career winning gold medals in the 500m time trial and individual pursuit and setting new world records in both events. This sets her in great stead to medal in Rio, and continue her career onto Tokyo. Megan said, “I would like to use the money for nutrition and extra cycle equipment in the way of a new turbo trainer and set of race wheels.”
Tom Daley & Sarah Barrow (Diving) – Two athletes who have already won multiple medals at various World Championships and Olympics will be looking to continue their fantastic careers out in Rio and coming home with some medals. Tom, at just 22 has already had a fantastic diving career; at the 2008 Olympics he was Britain’s youngest competitor, the youngest competitor of any nationality outside the sport of swimming, and the youngest t o participate in a final. Sarah on the other hand is 27, has a wealth of experience is coming towards the end of her career and this will likely be her last Olympics. She won a Gold at the European Championships in 2012, and narrowly missed out on a medal at the Olympics, so Rio is the perfect opportunity to finally bring home an Olympic medal. Sarah said, “As I come to the end of my career I would like to start giving back advice and things I have learnt throughout my career and 16 years of diving to young people. It has certainly not been a straight road but I have had the determination to continue and pick myself up in order to be proud of the things I have achieved.”
Tania Nadarajah (Para Archery) – Tania trains at Lilleshall National Sports Centre and has been competing in archery for a number of years, including competing last year at the World Championships last year coming a respectable 17th winning a quota place for Great Britain. Now Tania has officially been selected for her first Olympics and is looking forward to representing Great Britain once again. She said, “The award will help me to purchase top of the range equipment that I need in order to be competitive on an international level. Access to training facilities will also help me to ensure I can keep up my strength and conditioning programme while training away from my sport’s national training centre.”
Lutalo Muhammad (Taekwondo) – This will be Lutalo’s second Olympic Games after a c ontroversial selection for 2012, he has really shown his talents again had to overcome a strong GB opponent in world silver medallist Damon Sansum. Lutalo said, “Rio 2016 in particular means a lot to me and my dad because we worked out years ago that I would be in my prime now and ready to take gold.” Rio is Lutalo’s time to shine, and the GLL Sport Foundation love supporting his journey. He said, “Undoubtedly funding from GLL for a professional athlete like myself is immeasurable, especially when you have little if any sponsorship. It would be an honour to work in the role as a GLL Ambassador and it would go a long way towards me achieving sporting success this Olympic year.”
Lucy Shuker, Louise Hunt (Wheelchair Tennis) – Louise has been a GLL Sport Foundation supported athlete for a couple of years now, and Lucy Shuker is new to the programme. Both athletes have been selected for Rio, which is a new experience for Louise, but Lucy made history at the London 2012 Paralympics by winning Great Britain’s first ever women’s wheelchair tennis medal. Both Louise and Lucy are ranked in the Top 10 in the world and both stand a good chance of coming back with some medals from Rio. Lucy and Louise have both benefited from the support that the GLL Sport Foundation has provided and look forward to seeing how they do at the Paralympics this year.
Pamela Relph (Para Rowing) – This will be Pamela’s second P aralympics, after competing and winning a gold at London 2012. Relph was introduced to the sport of rowing in August 2010 by her older sister, who had rowed internationally for Great Britain. Pamela said, “I am very grateful for the support provided to me so far from the GLL Sport Foundation and the use of the facilities near me has been imperative to my training and recovery. Continued support would mean that I am able to continue to complete my training to the best of my capability.” We look forward to Pamela try and retain a gold medal out in Rio.
Vanessa Daobry (Para Athletics – Seated Shot Put) – Vanessa has only been participating in seated throws for a year and quickly climbed the national rankings and is currently ranked number one F34 para shot putter in the country. She is an inspiration to the community and in addition to her own training, assists with supporting funding bids and developing others’ athletic careers. This will be Vanessa’s first Paralym pics and we are very excited to see how she fairs against the best in the world.
Vanessa said, “The support that the GLL Award would provide would allow me to further the amount of training I can currently access, primarily cross training that would enhance my endurance capabilities. The financial support would go towards towards covering the costs of a warm weather training camp as well as sports science support and necessary upgrades to my throwing frame.”
Louis Rolfe (Para Cycling) – Louis’ selection came late on the 1st of August and will be his first Paralympic Games. His favourite event is the 3k pursuit and is t he fastest GB cyclist for this event in his C2 classification. The GLL Sport Foundation has supported Louis for several years now and he really appreciates the support.
“Thank you GLL for your support to date, it makes a huge difference to me knowing that I have people who believe in my ability and support my development. I never imagined when I was sitting watching the London Games in 2012 that I would be thinking of being part of Team GB in Rio. The support from GLL enables me to train in the gym locally and the financial assistance helps with travel costs as well as funding vital pieces of equipment for my bike and adaptations on the bike.”
Carly Tait (Wheelchair Racing) – Carly is relatively new to the sport, gaining interest in wheelchair racing after watching the Paralympic Games in 2012. In 2014, Carly represented Great Britain in the T34 wheel chair sprint at the Diamond League in Hampden Park, Glasgow and at the IPC Grand Prix Final in Birmingham, alongside Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft. She took part in last year’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Park in Stratford and this year, she has taken a 12-month sabbatical from work – as a digital marketer for the Co-op – to train for Paralympic qualification. This has paid off and Carly has been brought in as a late selection for the Games out in Rio.
Ashley Facey-Thompson (Para Table Tennis) –
A keen sports fan Ashley started playing table tennis in year 7 at Morpeth School, a comprehensive in Bethnal Green, East London and immediately impressed coaches with his talent. “I’d never been told that I was talented before so I thought I might as well give it a shot,” he explains. “Table tennis felt different right from the beginning.”
Having played against GB international and GSF athlete Aaron McKibbin in tournaments around England he was called up by the GB team to play a competition in Romania and is now in his third year with the GB Performance squad. Although he just missed out on the team for London 2012 he was selected for the Paralympic Inspiration Programme and so visited both the Paralympic venues and village. Ashley has had a last minute call up for Rio and will finally have a chance to compete for a Paralympic medal.
Natalie Greenhough (Para Judo) – The Crawley judoka will be Paralympics GB’s sole female representative and British Judo are delighted that Natalie has been given the opportunity to compete. At just 22 years old, this is a great chance for Natalie to show the world what she is capable of and put a marker down for Tokyo 2020 also.
Ellis O’Reilly (Gymnastics) – Ellis is the first ever female Irish gymnast to qualify for an Olympic Games. The 18 year old gymnast who trains out of the Europa Gymnastics club in London and is coached by Sam James, was absolutely delighted with her performance and history making result. Ellis is supported through the Greenwich Starting Blocks partnership. She said, “The support from this award helps me to believe in myself and supports my hard work and pays for my equipment needed to train and travel.”
Speaking of the achievement from Rio, Gymnastics Ireland CEO, Mr Ciaran Gallagher said “Ellis has made history for Gymnastics Ireland by qualifying to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“This is a huge step forward for our women’s programme and in becoming the first Irish female gymnast to qualify to an Olympic Games Ellis’ achievement will serve to inspire to all the young up and coming Irish gymnasts who will want to follow in her footsteps.
Michael McKillop (Athletics – 1500m) – Ireland’s three-time Paralympic gold medallist Michael McKillop says he is on course to win another title in Rio after suffering “dark days” during two years affected by injury. Michael is on track with training going well in the lead up to the games. He has broken the 800m and 1500m World Record on numerous occasions and could potentially do the same again.
Here at GLL we are delighted to be supporting Michael’s successes. Michael said, “GLL has kindly supported me with a sum of money, that will go towards training and traveling to competitions across the UK Ireland and Europe in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”
“GLL has given me the chance to be the Belfast ambassador, this allows me the opportunity to inspire and link with the next generation of athletes and making the young athletes understand the importance of having a network of support staff around them, when it comes to competing at the highest level.”
Jonny Bell, Michael Watt (Hockey) – It has been an extremely competitive process to select the final Ireland Hockey side, and we are very proud to be supporting two ath letes that made the final cut. Not only is this the first time an Irish hockey team has qualified for an Olympic Games for more than 100 years; it is the first time that Team Ireland will contest a team sport at an Olympic Games since 1948. A fantastic achievement that will be remembered for years to come.
Michael said, “The training required to achieve our peak performance at the Games has meant leaving my regular job as a Doctor in the Belfast Trust. The support the award will provide can help me achieve my dream of standing in Rio with the Ireland crest on shirt, representing the city of Belfast.”
Tosin Oke (Athletics – Triple Jump) – Having previously competed for Great Britain, Tosin has made the transfer to compete for Nigeria in the Triple Jump. Since competing for Nigeria he has won back-to-back African Championships in Athletics titles and the Commonwealth Games championship and is the current All-Africa Games Champion. At the 2012 Summer Olympics Tosin finished seventh in the triple jump final, the best Nigerian result of the Games.
“An award from GLL will certainly help to cover the huge costs of maintaining a high level of performance from the month long training trips, cost of regular physiotherapy, supplements and cost of access to training centres. I take my role as a current ambassador for Greenwich very seriously, I try to attend all events I am invited to and conduct myself according to the highest standards both in person and through social media.”
Ekaterina Avramova (Swimming) – having swum at London 2012 for Bulgaria, Ekaterina has made the transition to compete for Turkey out in Rio. She competes in the 100m and 200m backstroke in addition to 100m freestyle. Although she didn ‘t reach the semi finals in London, she is determined to do better this time round and push herself to be the best.
“I’ve been part of the GLL Sport Foundation for quite some time, and have used the benefits extensively. The Foundation helped me develop skills and improve my times. With your help I’ve achieved so much, and I would like to continue using it. Thank you.”
Updates of selection will be posted when National Governing Bodies announce their squads.