A NEW boat is far from a cheap purchase but Wimbledon sailor Ellie Keers isn’t going it alone thanks to financial support from SportsAid.
The 18-year-old is a beneficiary of GVC Holdings’ three-year partnership with the sports charity, helping young talent across the UK realise their potential.
Athletes get funding for training, travel and equipment, as well as mentoring by Olympians and Paralympians on topics such as nutrition and sports psychology.
Keers’ summer programme was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic but time was still well spent both on and off the water.
“The funding and support has been really good, it was really helpful and made a massive difference in buying a new boat,” she said.
“A new boat isn’t cheap, it cost a few thousand pounds and then you have to get things attached to it as well, so it costs a lot!
“The support was really helpful as well, it brings a lot of confidence knowing that people are backing us to do well and can see talent in us.
“I’ll be moving down to Southampton for university in a few weeks as well so the support will certainly be a big help during then as well.”
The young athletes will be following in the footsteps of legendary figures such as Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah, Dame Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds OBE – all of whom received SportsAid support – and more recent beneficiaries including Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Peaty MBE.
The initiative is part of GVC’s – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – Pitching In, a major new multi-million-pound investment programme designed to support and promote grassroots sports.
Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Ellie Keers is getting support from Pitching In with GVC and SportsAid, in recognition of her achievements in sailing.
“We need to keep on supporting our young athletes, especially at this difficult time for everyone.
“British sporting success is something that can bring us all together and I look forward to everyone in Wimbledon cheering Ellie on in the future.”
GVC is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid.
As part of this three-year partnership, GVC are supporting a diverse group of 50 UK athletes per year from a variety of sports and para-sports. Visit gvc-plc.com to find out more.