Cash fuels Olympic dreams
PUBLISHED: 17:56 30 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:45 16 August 2010
GOLD medallist runner Sally Gunnell has met young athletes who have received crucial sports funding to help them compete in the 2012 Olympics. Five Bromley athletes are among the 250 successful applicants for funding from charity GLL Sport Foundation,
GOLD medallist runner Sally Gunnell has met young athletes who have received crucial sports funding to help them compete in the 2012 Olympics.
Five Bromley athletes are among the 250 successful applicants for funding from charity GLL Sport Foundation, part of a leisure trust responsible for more than 70 sports centres in London.
The 400-metre champ, who is a patron of the charity, met some of the future stars at the Crystal Palace National Sports Stadium, an Olympic venue, last Wednesday.
She told them the grants are necessary for the "grassroots" of sport to develop. "It's hard to get funding but you are the stars of the future and we've got to keep you in sport," she said. "These grants go a long way.
"If you can't afford to live in your house, where are you going to get the money to drive up to Crystal Palace every day like I used to do?"
Also at the meeting was Britain's number one long jumper, Jade Johnson, 28, who is an ambassador for GLL Sport Foundation. Miss Johnson will be competing at the Beijing Olympics next month.
She said: "The Crystal Palace sports centre is like a second home to me. I train here six days a week and I would do anything to support it.
"When I lost my funding from the lottery last year, I approached GLL and they gave me a grant. It is a genuine charity, full of people who want to help you, which is rare. They are doing a really good thing."
Successful applicants from a variety of sports disciplines, including kayaking, swimming and athletics, were in the audience but some of the 250 athletes who have gained funding have yet to be notified. The awards range from £250 to £2,000 per athlete or coach and are available to any of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.
GLL Sport Foundation chief executive Peter Bundey said he hoped that in the run-up to 2012 the scheme could give funding to up to 800 athletes a year.
For more information about funding, see www.gllsportfoundation.org.
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