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 Tom Daley in the synchronised 10m platform competition.
Tom, who has been a GSF ambassador for several years and trains at the London Aquatic on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park finished third in the 10m synchronised platform along with his partner Dan Goodfellow. Tom was ecstatic at winning the bronze and laid to rest the demons of London, when he finished fourth in the same event. He is the first British diver to win multiple Olympic medals – he took an individual bronze in London.
Although Tom did not reach the finals in the individual event it has made him hungrier to continue training for the next four years until Tokyo 2020. He will not give up on his Olympic dream and is determined to be on top of the podium in 2020. Tom said, “Yesterday I scored the highest score ever in an Olympic Games. Today it wasn’t meant to be. That’s what diving does sometimes”. He is taking some time off to spend with family, he has assured the British public that he will then be back.
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. The Copper Box Arena on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be hosting a showpiece open day where an International handball competition will be running, GSF ambassador and GB Long Jumper Dan Bramble will be in attendance, in addition to Alesha Dixon and some other surprises that ITV have up their sleeve.
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: Tom Daley (left) and Dan Goodfellow diving in Rio
Image: Tom Daley (right) and Dan Goodfellow with their Olympic bronze medals