Reading celebrates GLL Sports Foundation talented athletes with over £30k in support!

Reading celebrates GLL Sports Foundation talented athletes with over £30k in support!

Social Enterprise GLL has supported 51 talented athletes from Reading in 2024/25 by awarding in kind and financial awards of a total of £31,650, with 67% of these athletes receiving no other central funding. 12 different Sports are represented in Reading this year, including Archery, Athletics, Badminton, BMX racing, Boxing, Canoeing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Judo, Kayaking, Rowing, Swimming, Taekwondo, Triathlon and Ultimate Frisbee.

GLL Sports Foundation is in its 16th year with a record amount of funding and number of athletes being supported. This year was Reading’s inaugural GSF Sports Awards, which took place on Thursday 16th May at Rivermead Leisure Centre.

Of the 51 successful athletes, 23 were able to attend with others being away training and at qualifying competitions. In total there were around 60 attendees, with friends and family coming to support. The awards were hosted by GLL’s Head of Service, Gary Starkey and Reading Borough Council’s Assistant Director of Culture, Donna Pentelow supported the presentation.

The event was catered for by adults completing the Hospitality Course at New Directions College – who provided an excellent spread of food which was highly complimented by all in attendance!

Reading’s Partnership Manager, Craig Woodward, then hosted an engaging Question & Answer session with Paralympic double gold medalist Graham Edmunds.

Athletes awarded at the Ceremony included:
Rowing - Rowan McKellar
Athletics - Olortuntobi Ayorinde, Youseff El-Nager, Jaxon Kennedy, Sammy Ball, Oscar Chan & Andrew Crerar
Badminton - Meghna Mahesh, Mudra Matekar, Advait Neelakandan, Anushka Ambrose – Badminton
Kayaking - Charlotte Fulford-Perez
Cycling - Mohammad Ganjkhanlou
Boxing - Asinia Byfield
Taekwondo - Samar & Saiba Chana
Triathlon – Carys Westcott

The GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) is the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK and awards gifted young athletes, many of whom rely on these bursaries alone to compete at national and international levels. Athletes supported by GSF this year received financial grants of up to £1,000 alongside training support, and access to all Better leisure facilities across the UK. The membership will provide access to cutting edge facilities and specialist equipment to support the young athletes with their training commitments.