Hammersmith and Fulham rising stars offered London 2012 funding chance


Young athletes are being given the chance to access more than £400,000 of funding for their Olympic and Paralympic dreams.


By Hardeep Matharu

Rising sports stars in Hammersmith and Fulham are being given a unique chance to access more than £400,000 of funding for their Olympic and Paralympic dreams at London 2012, Rio 2016 and beyond.

The funding, for young athletes who live, are in education, or affiliated to a sports club in the borough, will be provided by the GLL Sport Foundation which aims to support and develop athletes for the Games.

Applications are being invited from those demonstrating their potential to succeed at an international level and who want to realise their sporting ambitions. 

GLL Sport Foundation Chairman Peter Bundey said: “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.”

The Foundation already supports many world class athletes focused on more medal success at next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

These include 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.

Taekwondo whiz Dawud Izza, 21, praised the financial support available from the Foundation.

“2011 is very exciting for me with it approaching the 2012 Olympics and positive results will lead to my selection for London 2012,” he said.

“The GLL Sport Foundation support has enabled me to focus on training and competitions without worrying about the costs that might arise through competing in them.”

Each successful applicant will receive financial or training awards, with financial awards of up to £1,250 on offer to support athletes with their associated training, travel and equipment costs 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. 

Zac Purchase MBE, a 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.”

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 a South England borough or district in which the GLL or its partners operate.

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 hopes to help a further 1,000 young sportsmen and women in 2012.

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

All applications need to be completed on the GLL Sport Foundation website at and must be submitted by 20 February 2012.

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