Modern life can be fraught with complications in many different areas, meaning potential star gymnasts may not always get the chance to shine their light. Unfortunately, this can often be down to financial reasons, making it all the more frustrating for the individuals involved.
GLL Sport Foundation
Thankfully, there is an invaluable body called the GLL Sport Foundation, committed to supporting athletes across the UK to develop their potential and achieve sporting success. By offering financial support to gymnasts across the UK, they can help ensure no-one is left behind due to financial blockers. Created in 2008, the GLL Sport Foundation is the largest independent athlete support programme. It’s operated by Charitable Social Enterprise GLL and supports athletes in 75 regions across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In fact, we have a great deal to be thankful to them for in terms of nurturing talent. In their first decade, the foundation has contributed to the success of 33 Olympic and Paralympic medals. From councils to fellow foundations, their list of partners is extremely impressive. What’s better, anyone is welcome to apply.
The foundation discovered the annual cost of attaining high national sport rankings averaged £6,000. Talent was being lost due to financial hardship with an associated negative impact on local young people, communities and sports clubs. They were determined to overcome this problem.
Working closely with British Gymnastics, the GLL Sport Foundation is looking to build an equality bridge by offering gymnasts across the talent pathway financial awards and access to training facilities, physiotherapy and sport science services. Every single one of these areas could help an athlete significantly over time.
It has delivered more than 16,200 awards helping youngsters use their ability to the full. A fantastic example of this is rhythmic gymnast, Alida Bogdanova, a product of the Harefield Academy in Middlesex.
Alida has been supported by the foundation for more than three years with regard to both competition and training fees. Alida said: “The financial support that I have received has allowed me to compete internationally at FIG competitions such as the World Cup in Pesaro and Grand Prix in Ukraine. GLL has also helped my parents afford multiple national team training camps at Lilleshall [National Sport Centre] and prepare for important tournaments such as European Championships and the Commonwealth Games.”
For athletes to be eligible for funding, they must live or be educated within an area where GLL or partners manage sport and leisure venues. They can qualify through affiliation to a sports club with a training base at a GLL or partner managed sport and leisure venue. Or, if they use a GLL stand-alone centre/‘BETTER Gym’ as your strength and conditioning venue, they’ll be able to apply for funding.
The awards come around annually with online application availability running from December 20th to February 20th. From here, athletes are provided with awards that run for a year from the 30th of April of the award year. Every athlete is required to reapply annually in order to get on-going support, with only one GLL Sport Foundation award available individually annually.
GLL have placed a real focus on transforming people’s lives, inspiring and promoting community skills and cohesion through sport and physical activity. It can only benefit clubs up and down the land.
The door may be closed until we approach another Christmas, but this also allows plenty of time to plan ahead. Young ambitions can be realised, and dreams really can come true thanks to this amazing project.
Greenwich Leisure Ltd, operating under the brand “Better”, runs more than 250 sport and leisure facilities and libraries on behalf of local authorities in London and across the UK.
So, start planning and mark the date in your diary. Who knows, you could receive funding to help you realise your ambitions!
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Typically, we help our clients reduce their time spent on admin by 80%. To book a free, no-obligation consultation, call us on 01892 771 276 – we’d love to speak to you.