Talented athletes hailing from Cumberland have been invited to join the UK's largest independent athlete support programme.

The athletes are being encouraged to apply for the GLL Sport Foundation Awards ahead of its closing date on Tuesday, February 20.

The programme includes a range of awards, such as financial support, access to sport facilities, physiotherapy, lifestyle mentoring, and mental health support.



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Throughout its 15-year operation, the GLL Sport Foundation has distributed over £14 million and 26,000 awards to support young talents in their sporting pursuits.

With rising costs of athlete training, equipment purchases, strength and conditioning support, and travel, the Foundation expects to see more interest.

All successful applicants will gain access to 250 sport and leisure facilities across the UK operated by GLL.

Over the past 16 years, athletes supported by the GLL Sport Foundation have won 76 Olympic and Paralympic medals, and 77 Commonwealth Games medals.

Previous athletes that held awards include Darryl Neita (athletics), Anna Hursey (table tennis), Charlotte Worthington (BMX), Alex Yee (triathlon), boxers Anthony Joshua, Aiden and Michaela Walsh, divers Tom Daley, Matty Lee and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, and swimmers Tully Kearney, Susie Rodgers, Tom Dean and Ellie Simmons.

However, the programme's core mission remains nurturing young emerging talent.

A majority of the foundation's athletes are under 21, with the largest cohort being under 18. 

Significantly, 87 per cent of athletes receive no other funding or support beyond what the programme offers, highlighting the need for such initiatives.

Peter Bundey, GLL Sport Foundation chair, acknowledged the ongoing importance of the awards amidst closing applications, saying: "There’s still time for talented athletes across Cumberland to apply for our awards and take advantage of a unique opportunity to reach their sporting potential."

Bundey further highlighted the exceptional significance of the awards, adding: "Previous athletes tell us the awards provide a lifeline to individuals who want to compete at the highest level as well as helping local communities discover the opportunities and enrichment that comes through sport."

Applications for the GLL Sport Foundation Awards are open on its website (www.gllsportfoundation.org).