PALACE ATHLETES BENEFIT FROM £1.2 MILLION FUND TO RIO AND BEYOND
More than 130 athletes who train at, or have connections to, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre will benefit from a UK wide £1,200,000 fund through the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) the largest independent athlete talent programme in the UK, in partnership with SportsAid and Greater London Authority.
They include four athletes who live in the SE19 area:
Chris Gregory – Beach Volleyball
Jake Sheaf – Beach Volleyball
Joshua Street – Athletics (Sprints) and
Desharne Bent-Ashmeil – Diving
A GLL press statement said: “With the Rio Olympics and Paralympics on the horizon, many of the GSF supported athletes will use their awards to assist in their preparations for the Games.
“GSF awards provide a range of elements including funding for training camps, to sport science and physio support. “There are four supported local athletes focused on qualification for Rio 2016 and due to the number of young athletes on the programme there are significantly more are targeting the 2020 and 2024 Games.
“The supported athletes represent more than 20 Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sporting disciplines. “Most of the funding is designed to help young developing talent and 67 per cent of awards are to athletes aged under 21.
“These are difficult ages for young athletes, when funding is not easily available and the costs of competition and training are high – 86pc of GSF award recipients receive no other sport funding.”
GSF Patron and former Olympic champion Sally Gunnell explained the core role the Foundation takes in supporting the next generation of athletes and thus ensuring a sporting legacy is in place not just for Rio but for future generations:
“It is vitally important that we inspire young people to excel in sport and harness their talent towards future Games” she added.
“From starting out as a young athlete and progressing through my sport, I know that support through your development years is crucial. “I am delighted that through this programme I am able to champion such support for future sporting talent.”
GSF supported ambassador, 26 year old GB Beach Volleyball player Chris Gregory described how the GSF is supporting athletes such as him along his sporting journey:
“Support from the GLLSF will allow myself and my team to further our professional development and compete at the highest level in our bid to qualify for future Olympic Games. It will allow us to reach competition venues and training camps with other high level opposition.”
Another supported athlete, Jade Johnson, retired GB long jumper who is focussed on the Olympic Legacy said she was: “Hoping to continue to work with GLL Sport Foundation as a legacy ambassador, and pass on my experience and knowledge to aspiring young sports people.”
Supported athletes receive award packages that include financial grants of up to £1,250 used to fund competition expenses and sporting costs, training memberships enabling venue access across GLL and partner operated venues to supplement their core training programmes; and access to sports science, performance sport and employment opportunities all focussed towards supporting their athlete journey.