Last call for talented young athletes to apply for grants

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With a cut off date of 20 February, talented young sports men and women from South Oxfordshire have just one month to go to apply for more than £400,000 of funding from the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) - established to support and develop athletes in order to help them achieve their Olympic and Paralympic dreams.

With the London Games only a few months away, young athletes who live, are in education or are affiliated to a sports club in Chiltern, South Bucks and South Oxfordshire and can demonstrate the potential to succeed at an International level are being invited to apply for the grants by 20 February 2012, committed to helping them realise their sporting ambitions.

The Foundation already supports a number of world class athletes focussed on more medal success at next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games including Olympic gold medallist and World Champion rower, Zac Purchase MBE, Paralympic sailor and three time World Champion Alexandra Rickham, 400m hurdler and European bronze medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton and double visually impaired judo World Champion Ben Quilter.

Zac Purchase MBE and GLL Sports Foundation Ambassador said: “The next eight months are crucial to my Olympic performance, and the support provided by the GLL Sport Foundation in partnership with SportsAid is very much appreciated and valued in my quest to win another Olympic gold for my country.”

Sally Gunnell OBE; GLL Sport Foundation Patron and former concurrent Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth 400m hurdles title holder explains “From my personal experience as a young athlete, I know how essential this kind of support can be to the realisation of sporting ambitions”.

GLL Sport Foundation Chairman, Peter Bundey added “Evidence from the country’s top athletes will confirm that the rise from local talent to regional and national competition is characteristically one of the most difficult stages of an athlete’s career”

“Young people need positive support and sport needs rising talent to keep Britain improving on a world stage at London 2012 and beyond. We can make a positive contribution on both agendas”.

Each of the successful applicants will benefit from financial and or training awards; the financial awards of up to £1,250 will support athletes associated training, travel and equipment costings during the next 12 months. Recipients will also benefit from training awards that allow free sporting access to more than 100 sports venues managed by not-for-profit leisure operator GLL and partners.

To be eligible for a grant, young sportsmen and women must live, be in education or affiliated to a sports club in a London or South England borough / district in which GLL or its partners operate.

All applications to be completed via the GLL Sport Foundation website at www.gllsportfoundation.org, applications must be submitted by 20 February 2012.

Since its launch in 2008 the Foundation has supported over 2,000 young UK athletes across 60 Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic and Special Olympic sports with training grants worth over £1.5 million. It is hoped that a further 1,000 young sportsmen and women will be helped during 2012.