67 Talented Athletes Across Cardiff To Benefit From Funding

67 Talented Athletes Across Cardiff To Benefit From Funding

67 talented young athletes from Cardiff will benefit from thousands of pounds worth of free memberships for sports venues and leisure centres, cash bursaries and other athlete support services thanks to GLL the UK's largest leisure charitable social enterprise. GLL operates leisure facilities across Cardiff under the ‘Better’ brand in partnership with Cardiff Council. Athletes involved within the GLL Sports Foundation include Anna Hursey - Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalist, Helen Gorman - Swimming World Record Holder and Emily Shawyer GB’s number 1 in shooting amongst many other sports being represented.  

Athletes will be supported through the GLL Sport Foundation, the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK, which in 2024 marks its 16th year of supporting both emerging and established national sporting talent. 

With a staggering 88% of award recipients receiving no other sport funding and 65% of recipients being aged under 21, the GLL Sport Foundation has highlighted a vital funding gap for young talented athletes and the need to tackle inequalities in sport; a significant number of award recipients have confirmed that this funding is essential to their journey and some could not continue without it. 

The free training memberships can be activated across over 250 GLL and several partner-operated sporting venues.  In addition, chosen athletes will share £111,000 of cash value awards as well as access to physiotherapy and introductory access to athlete services offered by the Foundation partner “Switch the Play”. 

Peter Bundey, GSF Chair, paid tribute to the athletes and programme stakeholders and highlighted the impact the Foundation is making to reduce inequalities across a wide range of sports. 

“These awards offer a welcome boost for athletes to continue the richly diverse sports they love and excel in – allowing us to reach deep into communities across the UK to remove barriers to participation. 

 “Since the Foundation began, we have now given over 28,146 athlete awards, totaling over £15million of support. I would like to give heartfelt thanks to all our sponsors, partners and supporters, who remain the lifeblood of this fantastic GLL initiative".  

GSF Patron and former Olympic Champion Sally Gunnell explained the impact of GSF support on the next generation of athletes and the communities they live in: She said: “Sport is such an important part of all our lives and has the power to inspire young people to excel and harness their talent towards their future. From my own experience starting out as a young athlete and progressing through my sport, I understand how important recognition and support from organisations like the GLL Sport Foundation can be to a young athlete. It can make a difference in achieving sporting ambitions. 

This support can positively impact communities by promoting the opportunity that sport can bring and promoting the benefits it brings in well-being from someone within that community.” 

While GSF focuses mainly on supporting young and upcoming grassroots athletes in the local community, many have gone on to Olympics and Paralympics success.  Award holders past and present have amassed an impressive 85 medals between them – including Tom Daley, Ellie Simmonds, Susie Rogers, Michael McKillop, Dina Asher-Smith and Charlotte Worthington. 

The athlete awards cover Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic, Special Olympic and Commonwealth sporting disciplines.