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Paralympian Susie hails Foundation as charity looks to support 3,000 athletes

Paralympic gold medallist Susie Rodgers has hailed the backing she received from the GLL Sport Foundation as the charity prepares to support more than 3,000 athletes in 2019.

Around 400 aquatic athletes were helped by the foundation last year through financial support, physiotherapy, a ‘Better’ Gym membership and more.

Susie, who won a gold medal in the 50m Butterfly at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, is an ambassador for the foundation and encouraged applications for the £1.6 million pot that will be invested into the development of athletes in 2019.

She said: “I was a recipient of the programme from the start of my career.

“I would recommend you all apply. It’s that support that makes a real difference and who knows, in the future you might become an Olympic or Paralympic champion.”

Other aquatic athletes to have received support from the foundation are:<

  • Aimee Willmott (Swimming) – Commonwealth champion
  • Nick Pyle (Swimming) – European champion
  • Calum Jarvis (Swimming) – World champion
  • Tom Daley (Diving) – Olympic medallist and World champion
  • Eden Cheng (Diving) – European champion
  • Tom Hamer (Para-Swimming) – European champion and Paralympic medallist
  • Hannah Russell (Para-Swimming) – Paralympic, World and European champion

Foundation has invested more than £9 million

In 2018, 70 per cent of the GLL Sport Foundation’s supported athletes were under 21 years old and 93 per cent received no other funding.

Over the past 10 years, the GLL Sport Foundation has invested more than £9 million supporting athletes, providing more than 16,000 awards.

Athletes supported by the programme have won a total of 33 Olympic and Paralympic medals.

Sally Gunnell OBE, who still remains the only athlete to hold consecutive Olympic, World and Commonwealth titles, said: “I understand how important our support from the Foundation can be to the realisation of sporting ambitions.

“This is ever more important today with centralised sport funding being squeezed further. We are an important resource in bridging the gap for young aspiring athletes.

“Support to these young athletes also goes beyond the field of play. It has an educational value by promoting the opportunity that sport can bring and promoting the benefits of healthy lifestyles to positively impact their local communities.”

Applications for the fund are now open and close on 20 February.