A total of 315 aquatic athletes have benefitted from a total of £162,350 thanks to charitable social enterprise GLL through its athlete support programme the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) the largest independent programme in the UK, in partnership with SportsAid and British Swimming.
The programme is focussed on supporting the talent pathway and funding is designed to help young athletes with 97% of awards recipients 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. Indeed 97% of GSF award recipients also receive no other sport funding.
Some of the athletes selected for the programme are Aimee Willmott (World Championships, Kazan), Amy Marren (National Paralympic Day), Ben Cutmore, Madeline Sweet, Emma Cricthley (European Games, Baku), Genevieve Randall (European Games, Baku), Mhairi Nurthen (European Games, Baku) and Frederick Pearson.
GSF supported swimmer and ambassador is 22 year old GB swimmer Aimee Wilmott who explained her drive for Olympic success.
“My ultimate career goal is to win an Olympic medal in Rio 2016 - preferably a gold medal,” Willmott said. “My aim is to qualify in my two main events, the 400m individual medley and 200m butterfly.
“I aim to inspire young children who also wish to become swimmers, or follow a path in another sporting career. This award is beneficial to me to fund a specialist gym coach to write and supervise my gym sessions.
“This will allow me to develop my strength and development further in order to reach my ultimate goal. The next 15 months will require all my focus and dedication to ensure I reach my goal and this award will give me the best preparation to do so.”
Another GSF supported athlete, 14 year old Madeline Sweet, explained the impact the award is making to her ambitions.
“For the last two years I have been on the English Programmes National Squad attending camps and assessment trials,” Sweet said.
“This is an important year for me as my goal is to become a member of team GB and compete at more international events. The funding I receive will go towards the cost of competing nationally and hopefully internationally.”