GLL, charitable social enterprise and the UK’s largest leisure operator, is set to help athletes in South Oxfordshire in 2018 through its athlete support programme, the ‘GLL Sport Foundation’.
The foundation provides athletes across the UK with support such as training membership access to more than 300 venues across the UK, access to physio and injury rehab support plus financial awards up to £1,250.
Athletes can apply to the foundation until 20 February 2018 via www.gllsportfoundation.org
It is projected that the foundation will support 3,000 athletes across the UK in 2018, which marks the tenth year of the programme. During that time GLL will have provided 16,000 athlete awards at a value of £9million.
The foundation is directly aligned to a national governing body of sport talent pathways and has partnerships with SportsAid and the Mary Peters Trust.
These partnerships ensure the foundation can make the most impact to athletes who are developing from national to international level. With 74 per cent of athletes aged under 21 and 87 per cent of athletes receiving no other funding support, the impact of the foundation is significant.
Synchronised swimmer and GLL-foundation supported athlete, Teri-Faye Coupar said: “I am proud of my progress. Two years ago, I was a recreational athlete, now I am in the England Talent Junior Squad training for European Junior championships this year.
“To achieve my goals, I need to work hard on the background of our sport, fitness, flexibility both on land and in the water, which the award will help with. I currently train on average 24 hours a week, most sessions are in Reading, but I also use local Better gyms including Henley Leisure Centre and the White Horse Tennis and Leisure Centre.”
Since the programme was launched in 2008 at the House of Commons, the programme has been under the patronage of Olympic gold medallist, Sally Gunnell OBE.
She said: “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’. 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.
“When we launched the programme in 2008 at the House of Commons, I was positive about the impact we could make to athletes across London. Now to be able to do this across the UK is testament to the programme that GLL created.”
Peter Bundey, Chair of the foundation, added: “I would like to thank all councils, sponsors and partners to the foundation over the length of the programme, their commitment has greatly contributed to its success.
“I would like to thank all the athletes who have delivered such phenomenal sporting success and inspired both future generations of athletes to achieve their goals and our wider communities to be more physically active. We look forward to supporting them and future generations of athletes for years to come.”