FUNDING: Sports people invited to apply for support from GLL Sport Foundation

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Deadline for applications is February 20

Sportspeople in Rugby are invited to apply for support from the UK’s largest leisure operator, which runs the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Centre.

Charitable social enterprise GLL are offering help through their athlete support programme, the ‘GLL Sport Foundation’.

It is an athlete focussed support programme providing people across the UK with tangible support to aid their sports performance.

This includes training membership access to over 300 venues across the UK, access to physio and injury rehab support and financial awards up to the value of £1,250.

Applications are open until February 20, 2018 and can be made through their website: www.gllsportfoundation.org

Across the UK it is projected 3,000 athletes will be supported in 2018.

It will be the programme’s tenth year, over which period it will have provided 16,000 athlete awards at a value of £9million.

One of Rugby’s own supported athletes, Jen Warren, who was Team GB’s vice-captain at the Invictus Games, explained: “The GLL Sport Foundation has really benefited my training, providing unrestricted access to a strength and conditioning venue with pool for recovery.

“My award has also helped me psychologically, building my confidence and self belief to know that I have local support.

“It’s great to see a diverse range of athletes supported, not just those with great success already at the top of their sport.”

Since the programme was launched in 2008 at the House of Commons it has been under the Patronage of one of the country’s greatest athletes, hurdler Sally Gunnell OBE, who won Olympic, World, European 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 75 parts of UK including areas in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, is testament to the programme that GLL created,” she added.

“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,” he said.

“Finally; I would like to thank all the athletes who 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.”