67 talented young athletes from Cardiff will benefit from a £42,000 fund – thanks to charitable social enterprise GLL, which manages Cardiff’s Better Leisure Centres on behalf of Cardiff Council.
The local athletes will be supported through the GLL Sport Foundation, the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK, which this year marks its 10th year of supporting today and tomorrow’s athletes.
A presentation event will take place at Cardiff City Hall on Tuesday 8 May at 6.30pm when the winners will be announced and receive their awards.
Supported athletes will receive award packages that include financial grants of up to £1,250, free training memberships to use Cardiff leisure centres’ facilities and across 300 GLL and partner operated sporting venues. They will also benefit from access to sports science, medical support and employment opportunities all focussed towards supporting their athlete journey.
GLL made awards in Wales from its Sports Foundation for the first time last year after it was awarded the contract to manage the city council’s leisure centres. One of last year’s recipients was Welsh Rugby Union player Elinor Snowsill from Radyr, Cardiff.
Elinor has 48 caps for Wales including three World Cups and eight 6 Nation Tournaments. She was recently a member of the Commonwealth Games 7s training squad. She will become one of the GLL Sports Foundation’s Ambassadors at next week’s Awards Ceremony.
Elinor, recently returned from Brisbane, commented:
“I am very grateful for the support I and many others received from the GLL Sport Foundation last year. It is a constant challenge to balance the demands of being a high performance athlete with working or studying full time, and foundations like GLL help to alleviate some of the challenges that arise during this time.
“Competing at the recent Commonwealth Games was the pinnacle of my career so far, and I returned from Australia determined to inspire and support future athletes.
“It is a very exciting time to be a part of Welsh sport!”
Juliette Dickinson, GLL Regional Director for Wales, commented:
“The wealth of young sporting talent within Cardiff’s local communities is truly inspiring. We are delighted to play our part in supporting the development of sporting talent across the city where GLL operates sports and leisure facilities. We believe that the vast majority of the athletes that benefit from the GLL Sport Foundation will give something back to sport and society in a positive way; whether as a future champion inspiring the nation, sports coach, volunteer, fund raiser or as an inspirational role model to other young people to get active and involved in sport”.
“I would like to thank all our partners and sponsors for their support for the programme. SportsAid and Sports Aid Wales provide the direct links to Sport Governing Body talent pathways, whilst our many corporate sponsors headlined by GLL and Technogym, numerous local authorities, university and physiotherapy partners directly contribute to support these sporting dreams to become a reality.
“With a staggering 89% of award recipients receiving no other sport funding and 73% of recipients being aged under 21, the Sport Foundation provides a vital funding lifeline for young talented athletes currently competing at National and international levels.”