H&F’s aspiring Olympians invited to bid for chunk of £5m funding support

Talented athletes from Hammersmith & Fulham are being invited to apply for a chunk of funding to help them achieve their dreams of reaching the Tokyo Olympics.

Charitable social enterprise, GLL, is investing £5million across the UK in its athlete support programme the GLL Sport Foundation, with the borough’s sporting stars being invited to apply for a share.

Last year, the foundation supported 21 local athletes and is hoping to improve on this tally ahead of the next Olympic games.

“This initiative ties in perfectly with our recently-launched Community Sport & Physical Activity Strategy,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.

“In particular, the foundation follows the strategy’s core themes of creating improved physical environments that encourage increased activity and ensuring every child in H&F grows up with positive attitudes to sport and physical activity.”

Supported athletes get access to financial support, training membership support, access to Better leisure centres across the UK as well as sport science and physiotherapy programmes.

Among the success stories is Fulham swimmer, Alesha Kelly, 14, who aspires to compete at the Olympics.

The Lady Margaret School pupil, who trains with Brompton Swimming Club, said: “The award will enable me to train in a range of venues, including 50-metre pools as I do not have regular access to these facilities currently which has disadvantaged me in the past. 

“It will also allow me to buy the equipment that will help give me the best possible chance to reach my goals, short and long term.”

The GLL Sports Foundation supported 59 athletes at London 2012 and 45 at last year’s games in Rio, winning a combined total of 33 medals.

Since the programme launched in 2008, 10,600 athlete’s awards have been handed out, totalling £6.1m of invaluable support.

Athletes will need to apply before 20 February 2017. To apply, visit the online application portal.

Eligibility criteria can be found here.

Fancy serving up an ace?

For any budding Andy Murrays and Johanna Kontas, spaces are available on tennis courses being run on Fridays and Sundays at the Chelsea Harbour Club in Fulham.

The courses are available to adults and children until April.

You can find out more details, including costs, and book a place here.

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