Printed Date: 26/09/2021

GSF supports 36 talented athletes heading to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

The GSF is the brain-child of GLL, the largest UK-based charitable social enterprise delivering sport, leisure, culture, health and community facilities.

3,000 talented athletes are supported annually by the GSF programme, of which an incredible 97% receive no other funding or support. The support given has provided a lifeline to the athletes and an inspiration to other young people in local communities.

In partnership with SportsAid, the Foundation works directly with the established national ‘talent pathways’ of Sport National Governing Bodies, local authorities, local sports charities and sponsors who partner the scheme across the UK.

The athlete awards cover Olympic, Paralympic, Deaflympic, Special Olympic and Commonwealth sporting disciplines.

Chosen athletes receive financial bursaries and free training memberships to use sport and leisure centre facilities across 260 GLL managed and partner-operated sporting venues. 

GLL Deputy CEO and Chair of the GLL Sport Foundation Peter Bundey said: “Good luck to all athletes competing at the Tokyo Paralympics and especially to our Foundation-linked competitors.

“We are proud to support so many talented Paralympians. They are an inspiration and exemplify the sporting opportunities at our centres and the true community spirit of our social enterprise organisation.”

“Our customers can be proud of the difference they are making because their visit helps sponsor a young athlete on their sporting journey which has been nurtured – or in many cases has started - in one of our pools, courts, tracks or gyms.”

GLL Sport Foundation athletes heading to the Tokyo Paralympic Games represent both ParalympicsGB and Paralympics Ireland. They include 10 time Paralympic medallist Stephanie Millward, 8 time Paralympic medallist Ellie Simmons OBE, and 4 time Paralympic champion Michael McKillop.

Stephanie Millward said: “The GLL Sport Foundation are a source of support, hope and friendship and without them I would not be here today focusing on my goal of Tokyo 2020”.

An exciting Paralympic Games debutant is Ben Pritchard.

Ben’s sporting journey has been a highly unusual one. A competitive sailor, international triathlete and road cyclist, on 10th September 2016 Ben’s life was turned upside down following a racing incident which left him paralysed from the rib cage down.

Setting a goal to get back into sport, Ben was supported from 2014 to 2017 including continued support throughout his transition into a Paralympic rower. In 2018 Ben had won Emerging Athlete of the Year Award from Disability Sports Wales.

Ben goes to Tokyo and will be competing in the Men’s Single Sculls (PR1 M1x).

GLL operates 260 sport and leisure facilities across the UK in partnership with 42 local authorities in Belfast, Cardiff and London – and spanning England from Carlisle to Cornwall.

GLL-managed Centres operate under the consumer brand ‘Better’; each one offers personal fitness and wellbeing – with gym, swim, classes, courts and pitches to enjoy, indoors and out – or family fun during summer staycations at lidos, trampoline parks and Watersport centres.

They also provide a training ground for talented athletes heading to national and international competition.

Because GLL is a charitable leisure social enterprise, it seeks to reinvest part of its operating surpluses into grassroots sports development, concessions and uniquely impactful programmes, including the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF).

GSF Supported Athletes (current athletes and past alumni):

Athlete

Partnership

Sport

Team

Aaron McKibbin

 

Para Table Tennis

Para GB

Aled Davies

Bridgend / Cardiff

F63 Shot Put

Para GB

Ali Smith

Tower Hamlets

100m /400m

Para GB

Anna Nicholson

Newcastle

Para Shot Put

Para GB

Ashley Facey Thompson

QEOP

Para Table Tennis

Para GB

Ben Fox

Swindon

Wheelchair BBall

Para GB

Ben Pritchard

Cardiff

Para Rower

Para GB

Chris Skelley

Walsall

Judo

Para GB

Claire Cashmore

Manchester

Para Triathlon

Para GB

Columba Blango

Barnet

T20 400m

Para GB

Dan Pembroke

 

F13 Javelin

Para GB

Dan Powell

 

Judo

Para GB

Dave Phillipson

Cambridge

Para Canoeing

Para GB

David Wetherill

Cornwall

Para Table Tennis

Para GB

Dimitri Coutya

Ealing

Wheelchair Fencing

Para GB

Ellie Simmonds

QEOP

Para Swimming

Para GB

Gaz Choudhry

Ealing

Wheelchair BBall

Para GB

Grace Harvey

Manchester City

Para Swimming

Para GB

Hannah Russell

Manchester

Para Swimming

Para GB

James (Jim) Roberts

Gosling / Hatfield&Welwyn

Wheelchair Rugby

Para GB

Jessica-Jane Applegate

Cambridge

Para Swimming

Para GB

Jim Palmer

 

Wheelchair BBall

Para GB

Jordanne Whiley

Vale of White Horse

Wheelchair Tennis

Para GB

Joshua Stacey

Cardiff

Para Table Tennis

Para GB

Joy Haizelden

 

Wheelchair BBall

Para GB

Louise Fiddes

Hatfield & Welwyn

Para Swimming

Para GB

Louise Sugden

Waltham Forest

Powerlifting

Para GB

Lucy Shuker

Vale of White Horse

Wheelchair Tennis

Para GB

Melissa Reid

Cornwall

Triathlon

Para GB

Michael McKillop

Belfast

1500m

Para Ireland

Stephanie Millward

Bath

Para Swimming

Para GB

Suzanna Hext

Swindon

Para Swimming

Para GB

Thomas Hamer

Manchester

Para Swimming

Para GB

Tully Kearney

Manchester

Para Swimming

Para GB

Vanessa Wallace

QEOP

Para shot put

Para GB

Zak Skinner

Sidcup

T13 Long Jump and 100m

Para GB

 

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