Charitable social enterprise and the UK’s largest leisure operator GLL is set to support three thousand athletes in 2018 through their athlete support programme, the ‘GLL Sport Foundation’.
The GLL Sport Foundation is an athlete focussed support programme providing athletes across the UK with tangible support to aid their sports performance, support includes training membership access to over three hundred venues across the UK, access to physio and injury rehab support and financial awards up to the value of £1,250.
Applications for athletes are open until 20th February 2018 via the website portal – www.gllsportfoundation.org
The projected three thousand athletes in 2018, marks a special milestone for the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme as it will mark the programmes tenth year over which period it will have provided sixteen thousand athlete awards at a value of £9million.
The Foundation is directly aligned to National Governing Body of sport talent pathways, and with National partnerships with SportsAid and the Mary Peters Trust it ensures that the right awards are provided to the right athletes at the right time.
These partnerships ensures that the Foundation can make most impact to athletes that are transitioning from national to international level and with 74% of athletes being aged under twenty one and 87% of athletes receiving no other funding support, the impact of the Foundation is significant.
Supported ambassador and double Olympic taekwondo medallist Lutalo Muhammad explained “GLL is a fantastic organisation paving the way for ordinary young people like myself to compete at the highest level. When I first started to compete internationally GLL was my only source of funding and I can sincerely say ‘but for’ GLL I would not of transitioned from a skinny kid that loved sport to an Olympic medallist, I'll never forget the help I received”.
“I am now focussed on Tokyo to complete my set and I am proud to be a GLL Sport Foundation ambassador now and into the future”.
Video interview snapshot - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaaLcJwPnPI
Since the programme was launched in 2008 at the House of Commons the programme has been under the Patronage of one of GBs greatest athletes Sally Gunnell OBE, who today still remains the only athlete to hold consecutive Olympic, World and Commonwealth titles. Sally explained “When I was first introduced to the GLL Sport Foundation in 2007 and the opportunity to come on board as Patron was offered to me it was a simple yes as achieving peak sport performance as an athlete and inspiring and supporting athletes to achieve their goals have been key drivers for me through my life; so there was an obvious direct synergy”.
“When we launched the programme in 2008 at the House of Commons I was positive with regards to the impact we could make to athletes across London, this same position is true today but to be able to do this across the UK where we are today supporting athletes across seventy five parts of UK including areas in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, is testament to the programme that GLL created”.
“I am proud to be Patron and with GLL at the helm of this programme I know the Foundation will deliver equally positive results into the years ahead; and play a greater role in the sporting pathway with centralised sport funding being squeezed further, and most importantly impact thousands of athletes sporting journeys which in turn will positively impact their local communities”.
Peter Bundey Chair of the Foundation further highlighted the network the programme works within “I would like to thank all councils; sponsors and partners to the Foundation over the length of the programme, your commitment has contributed to its success greatly”.
“Finally; I would like to thank all the athletes you have delivered such phenomenal sporting successes and inspired future generations of athletes to achieve their goals and our wider communities to be more physically active. We look forward to supporting you and future generations of athletes for years to come”.