Applications are open for the GLL Sport Foundation financial awards that offer up to £1,250 for young athletes across the UK.
The GLL Sport Foundation is the largest independent support programme for athletes nationwide. They work in partnership with SportsAid in 35 areas across the UK including Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Croydon. They work with athletes who train at Crystal Palace National sports centre and have a partnership deal with Hackney Youth Sport Fund.
GLL has given over £3.8 million in grants to date including many to east London athletes. Last year they supported 1,500 candidates including 96 in Tower Hamlets.
Aspiring sports stars can apply for funding to help with travel, competition and equipment costs. It also allows young athletes to train across more than 140 sport and leisure venues managed by GLL. Over three-quarters of the awards go to athletes under the age of 21.
One of GLL’s funding recipients is Scotland’s top table tennis athlete and a Commonwealth games medallist, Gavin Rumgay who trains in Tower Hamlets.
Speaking to ELL Gavin said: “This kind of support is massive especially for families who really don’t have any money at all. If you get a £1,000 award on top of what you have it could go a long way in sports like athletics, for example.”
“I think it’s underestimated how a few thousand pounds can really make a difference especially to younger athletes”.
GLL supports many well-known athletes like Team GB diver and Olympic medallist Tom Daley, 400-meter runner Conrad Williams, swimmer Amy Marren, and weight lifter Mercy Brown.
The foundation’s manager, Mark Gliddon told ELL: “We are very passionate about sport. For us as an organisation to see those athletes rise from junior level to international level and achieve success – it’s inspiring. We want to help young people aspire”.
Williams, who trains at Crystal Palace sports centre, told ELL: “Being an ambassador keeps me focused. They chose me to advertise this is what hard work and dedication could bring you. Getting such help will definitely boost your career at least 20-50 per cent.”
The deadline for applications is 20 February.
Video: Anna Lidster and Basak Unalan