GSF Athletes Celebrated For 2024 in West Oxfordshire

GSF Athletes Celebrated For 2024 in West Oxfordshire

On Thursday 27th June Carterton Leisure Centre was transformed into a Hollywood-style auditorium– complete with stage, theatrical lighting, a professional singer and canapes – for the GSF 2024 West Oxfordshire GSF Awards.

More than 70 people attended the event to celebrate the local sporting talent and the support offered by the GLL Sports Foundation. In West Oxfordshire 51 athletes are benefiting from £30,550 worth of funding with 82% of the athletes not receiving any other central funding.

The support covers 18 different sports in West Oxfordshire. This includes triathlon, tag rugby and trampolining as well as less common sports such as bowls and synchronised swimming. The scheme has a high uptake from younger athletes with 71% being aged under 21 and 31% aged under 16.

Medals and certificates were presented to young and experienced athletes by Julian Sayers, Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire. Other guests included Josh Lenthall, CEO of Active Oxfordshire, and Gary Starkey, GLL Head of Service.

A real highlight from the evening was the guest speaker, Kate Sweatman, a GBR Equipped Powerlifter and the 2023 World Open Equipped Champion. Kate spoke about her sporting journey, transition to powerlifting from rugby, managing family commitments with her sport and the importance of persevering even when faced with failure. Kate also works for GLL as an Area Swim School Lead in Bedford.

Guests were kept entertained by a musical duo and were wowed by a magician who moved between tables performing tricks. Athletes signed the GSF t-shirt which will be framed and kept as memorabilia in one of the leisure centres.  

The scheme continues to grow on a national level with 28,146 athlete awards inclusive of 117 different sports. The total support value is a staggering £15,386,230 which could be possible without its sponsors and key partners including National Governing Bodies, Sports Aid and Additional Athlete Services.