80 talented young athletes from across the Royal Borough of Greenwich will benefit from a £53,000 fund – thanks to Greenwich based charity Greenwich Starting Blocks (GSB). The athletes will be supported through the charity in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Charitable Social Enterprise GLL, the GLL Sport Foundation and SportsAid.
The athlete awards cover more than 20 Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sporting disciplines; a staggering 91% of award recipients receive no other sport funding and with 68% of recipients being aged under 21 GSB plays a vital life line for Greenwich stars of the future.
With the Rio Olympics and Paralympics a huge success not only for Team GB and other nations, but also for GSB supported athletes with 4 athletes competing winning a record 3 medals between them (Susie Rodgers – 1x gold and 1x bronze para swimming, Daryll Neita – 1x bronze 4x100m athletics relay, Tosin Oke – athletics triple jump and Ellis O’Reilly – gymnastics).
GSB ambassador and Rio 2016 gold and bronze Paralympic medallist Susie Rodgers MBE underlined how GSB helps athletes such as her along their sporting journey, “I have since learned that I am GSB’s most decorated Paralympian. This was a culmination of many years of training and support from GSB throughout. I am and have been proud to be a GSB ambassador, and now look to support, build opportunities and inspire the next generation of athletes in Greenwich to achieve sporting success”.
GSB work in partnership with SportsAid, and in 2017 are providing £5,000 to talented athletes who have been nominated by their National Governing Body. Greenwich SportsAid athlete Sabrina Sinha said, “My SportsAid funding, which GSB kindly support, enables me to pay for 1:1 S&C sessions which is an invaluable part of my training. It also helps towards physio/ sports massage and travelling expenses. The GSB have supported me since day one of my athletics career, and I really appreciate their support not just financial. Their belief in my abilities as an athlete is as valuable as the money that I am awarded. Thank you”.
Peter Bundey, GSB Chair, paid tribute to the athletes and the impact the charity is making: “Congratulations to all of the athletes receiving awards. We know first hand the commitment, effort and sacrifices they are making to perform at their best”.
“Since launching in 2008 the charity has provided over 500 athlete awards at a total support value of £300,000, and with this award year we are committed to ensure the next generation of Greenwich athletes can be supported to achieve future successes”.