The GLL Sport Foundation (GSF), the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme, has appointed Team GB sprinter Perri Shakes-Drayton as a member of its board.
Following GLL’s recent appointment of James Jebb as its new Foundations Manager, heading up both GSF and the GLL Community Foundation (GCF), the foundation has added the experience of the long-term GSF recipient.
Supported by GSF since 2008, Perri’s career honours include national, European and World indoor titles, as well as becoming the second fastest British athlete of all time in the 400m hurdles at London 2012, behind GSF patron Sally Gunnell.
Perri’s successful athletic career also led to a place on popular ITV show Dancing on Ice.
Having already served as a GSF Ambassador, Perri will now take her first steps into the governance of a sporting body, becoming the second athlete to be a GSF Board member following Susie Rodgers MBE.
Perri brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding for an athlete and their journey through sport, which she and GSF Board members believe will provide much needed insight to support the development of the programme and continue to help athletes from all walks of life achieve their dreams.
The GLL Sport Foundation was founded by charitable social enterprise GLL to provide talented athletes with financial support as well as access to training and sport science facilities.
The Foundation awards were launched after GLL had identified an increasing number of talented athletes who were receiving no sport funding and had given up on their sporting dreams through lack of support.
This year, a total of 3,120 athletes have received GLL Sport Foundation support worth a total of £1.8 million – including cash support totalling £360,000. The recipients are spread across 117 sporting disciplines. This brings the total athlete funding value to £11 million since the scheme began in 2008. GLL is the UK’s largest leisure and culture social enterprise and operates 270 sport and leisure facilities through its customer brand, Better.
Athletes supported by the GLL Sport Foundation get training access to all GLL-managed venues.
Perri Shakes-Drayton said ‘It’s a really exciting step and something different for me. Having been supported for so long by GLL I wanted to be able to give back and make sure this programme keeps supporting athletes like me to be as successful as possible. I’ve had my first Board meeting and its great to meet people that aren’t athletes but care about how to make sport equal for everyone.’
GSF Chairman, Peter Bundey commented ‘Its really brilliant to have Perri on the Board. We have always tried to have an athlete representative on the Board and to have someone of Perri’s calibre is fantastic. She will bring some much-needed athlete insight, to keep GSF a truly athlete-focused programme.’