Scheme of success for British athletes
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