49 talented young athletes from Cambridge have benefitted from a £27,600 fund – thanks to charitable social enterprise GLL. The athletes have been supported through the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) in partnership with Cambridge City Council, the GSF is the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK, which this year marks its 10th year of supporting today and tomorrows athletes.
Twelve financially supported athletes were presented with their awards on Friday 15th at an awards event held at Cherry Hinton Village Leisure Centre, awards were presented by Councillor Richard Johnson, Executive Councillor for Communities at Cambridge City Council. The event also included an athlete question and answer session with GB athletes Louis Rolfe and Sarah Leiter providing a great insight for other athletes in terms of an athletes journey.
The athlete awards covered Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic, Special Olympic and Commonwealth sporting disciplines. With a staggering 88% of award recipients receiving no other sport funding and 56% of recipients being aged under 21, the Sport Foundation has highlighted a vital funding gap for young talented athletes currently competing at National and international levels.
Cllr Johnson expressed his delight in supporting local athletes “It was a pleasure to help give out the awards to these fantastically talented young athletes, we look forward to following their sporting journeys and successes for years to come”.
Cambridge athlete ambassador and double Paralympic medallist Louis Rolfe continued the positive comments “I am grateful for the continues support of the GLL Sport Foundation as I continue my journey in para cycling, great to get the opportunity to meet other Cambridge athletes”.
Peter Bundey, GSF Chair, paid tribute to the athletes, programme stakeholders and also highlighted the impact the Foundation is making: “The wealth of young sporting talent within our local communities is truly inspiring. We are delighted to play our part in supporting the development of sporting talent across in every region in the where GLL operate sports and leisure facilities. We believe that the vast majority of the athletes that benefit from the GLL Sport Foundation will give something back to sport and society in a positive way; whether as a future champion inspiring the nation, sports coach, volunteer, fund raiser or as an inspirational role model to other young people to get active and involved in sport”.
“I would like to thank all our partners and sponsors for their support for the programme. SportsAid provide the direct links to Sport Governing Body talent pathways, whilst our many corporate sponsors headlined by GLL and Technogym, numerous local authorities, university and physiotherapy partners directly contribute to support these sporting dreams to become a reality”.
Since its launch in 2007, the GSF has provided over 16,000 athlete awards at a total support value of over £9 million across the UK.
The Gold coast Commonwealth games were historic successes for home nations, and the GSF supported athletes also broke the Foundation’s record medal haul with 20 medals won between the 60 athletes that competed.
Supported athletes receive Award packages that include financial grants of up to £1,250, free training memberships enabling access across 300 GLL and partner operated sporting venues along with access to sports science, medical support and employment opportunities all focussed towards supporting their athlete journey.
The GLL Sport Foundation in partnership with the Council look forward to supporting more talented athletes across Cambridge City Council in the coming year, 2019 applications open on the 20th December via the website portal – www.gllsportfoundation.org