Just over a year after launching its collaboration with SportsAid to support the next generation of athletes, GVC, the multi-national sports-betting and gaming group, has hailed the scheme a great success.

The partnership was launched just over one year ago with the support of Baroness Grey-Thompson. It offers a source of support for the country’s young, talented athletes during the critical early stages of their careers including financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities.

Through its partnership with SportsAid, GVC supports 50 young athletes across the country each year, providing funding to help towards the cost of training, travel and equipment, as well as expert advice and guidance on a broad range of topics including nutrition, time management, training and dealing with the media.

Notable beneficiaries include archer Eleanor Piper, rifle shooter Ruth Mwandumba, track and field star Joel Clarke-Khan, para table tennis player Craig Allen and wheelchair basketball talent Ross Davidson. A total of 12 recipients of support in 2019 have continued on the programme with GVC in 2020. 

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.

Cheyanne Evans-Gray will also be benefitting from GVC’s support this year. The sprinter, who competes for Croydon Harriers and set a new British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships record over 60m this year, balances training with a job at one of GVC’s Ladbrokes betting shops in Croydon.

Cheyanne Evans-Gray said: “I feel overwhelmed and am really grateful for the support from SportsAid. I’m in training to compete at The Olympics and hopefully win gold and this funding means that I can afford to fund more training and it will give me a helping hand in buying some new kit. The mentoring programme will mean so much to me too.”

Grainne Hurst, GVC’s Group Director of Corporate Affairs, commented: “In a world where local and grassroots sports are under increasing financial pressure we believe our collaboration with SportsAid helps play a pivotal role in supporting the next generation of British sporting heroes.

"Providing as many opportunities as we can for our nation’s brightest sporting talent is crucial if we want to continue to achieve sporting success on the podium. We’re thrilled that we are also able to support Cheyanne, one of our own GVC colleagues, through this partnership. She has shown huge promise as a talented young athlete, and we are delighted to be supporting her quest for sprinting glory.”

Tim Lawler, SportsAid Chief Executive, added: “Confirming support for a new cohort of talented young athletes is always exciting and this continued commitment from GVC is very welcome news in these uncertain times. Recognising and encouraging the next generation to develop their potential has arguably never been more important, and we are thrilled to see our partnership with GVC going from strength to strength.”

The collaboration forms part of a multi-million-pound investment by GVC into grassroots sport, community and health through its CSR programme.

The 51 athletes being sponsored by GVC are:

Lily Abbott (Rowing) from Twickenham

Craig Allen (Para Table Tennis) from Bromsgrove

Alex Baker (Rugby Union) from Loughborough

Emily Bale (Shooting) from Cardiff

George Barber (Swimming) from Cleethorpes

Blake Bowman (Basketball) from Derby 

Annabel Carthy (Equestrian) from Tatton

Owen Chaplin (Rugby Union) from Bowburn

Joel Clarke-Khan (Athletics) from Worcester

Courtney Cox (Boxing) from Easington

Ross Davidson (Wheelchair Basketball) from Sheffield

Charles Dobson (Athletics) from Harwich

Louise Evans (Athletics) from Dover

Cheyanne Evans-Gray (Athletics) from Croydon

Michael Farmer (Weightlifting) from Caerphilly

Oliver Griffith Salter (Wheelchair Basketball) from Carmarthen

Callum Hall (Para Athletics) from Shipley

James Hamilton (Para Athletics) from South Antrim

Marcus Harrison (Disability Football) from Liverpool

Sam Heppenstall-Batty (Taekwondo) from Calder Valley

Georgia Holt (Cycling) from Rutland

Amy Home (Fencing) from Denton

Emma Imevbore (Basketball) from Lewisham

Katie Jones (Hockey) from Bristol

William Jones (Badminton) from Putney

Eleanor Keers (Sailing) from Wimbledon

Hannah Kelly (Athletics) from Bury

Amelia Kellyman (Skeleton) from Trowbridge     

Felix Klein (Skiing) from Cirencester

Stephen Mackenzie (Athletics) from Ullapool

Holly Manders (Football) from Middlesbrough

Danielle Marshall (Boxing) from Hartlepool

Bethany Moule (Athletics) from Aberavon          

Ruth Mwandumba (Shooting) from Bootle

Seth O’Connor (Rowing) from Aylesbury

Chukwuemeka Osammor (Athletics) from Sheffield        

Ross Paterson (Para Athletics) from Paisley

Eleanor Piper (Archery)  from Woking

Will Prentice (Hockey) from Bath

George Reed (Rowing) from Elstow

Anya Richmond (Rugby Union) from Burnley

Alessandro Schenini (Athletics) from Newton Mearns

Louise Scott (Softball) from Brentford

Sam Smith (Disability Football) from Hexham

Kirsty Taylor (Para Athletics) from Newport

Martha Taylor (Hockey) from Wimbourne

Joel Thompson (Swimming) from Hove 

Niall Treacy (Short-Track Speed Skating) from Stratford Upon Avon       

Eve Walsh-Dann (Para Athletics) from Bangor, North Down        

Charlotte Williams (Athletics) from Ribble Valley

Aliyah Zaranyika (Netball) from Edmonton         

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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