GVC, the multinational sports-betting and gaming group, has today (9 October) announced a new three-year partnership with SportsAid to support the next generation of British athletes. The collaboration forms part of a multi-million pound investment by GVC into grassroots, community and health project through its CSR programme.
A reception was held at the Houses of Parliament, with opening remarks from Baroness Grey-Thompson, to launch the partnership between GVC and SportsAid. The partnership will see 50 of the country’s brightest sporting prospects boosted by financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities annually.
GVC is also establishing an independent Community Fund, run and administered by the UK Community Foundation, which will deliver small-scale grants to local good causes in need of an injection of cash. The focus will be on tackling men’s health issues and promoting grassroots sport, women in sport and disability sport.
This is in addition to GVC’s existing Charitable Trust, a successful pro-bono colleague volunteering scheme, and funding for a number of responsible gambling charities including Gamble Aware and GamCare. Kenny Alexander, GVC’s CEO, registered his excitement at embarking on a new partnership with SportsAid.
“Today’s unique investment highlights the new commitment that the company will be taking to invest and support the communities we serve,” said Kenny. “Through these partnerships we are delighted to be supporting the sporting heroes of the future as well as the local clubs where many of them have started their aspiring careers.”
Formed in 1976, SportsAid originally acted as the major source of financial support for the country’s leading high-performance athletes before the arrival of National Lottery funding through UK Sport in 1997. SportsAid then began to focus purely on the next generation of young talented athletes and continues to play that role today.
SportsAid has supported tens of thousands of athletes during the critical early stages of their careers, with Sir Mo Farah, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Steve Redgrave, Dame Katherine Grainger and Daley Thompson CBE and Denise Lewis OBE among its extensive alumni.
More recently, Laura Kenny CBE, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Adam Peaty MBE, Georgie Hermitage MBE, Jade Jones MBE, Hollie Arnold MBE, Pam Relph MBE, Natasha Baker MBE, Tom Daley, Lutalo Muhammad, Dina Asher-Smith, Matthew Fitzpatrick and James Woods have all received SportsAid awards within the last decade.
“SportsAid’s primary purpose is to support talented young sports people and GVC will help us to do that,” said Tim Lawler - SportsAid’s Chief Executive. “Our primary challenge though, is to raise awareness of the charity and we feel, with this long term commitment from GVC, that many more people will get to know about SportsAid.
“It’s an important time for British sport and SportsAid is well-placed to make a positive contribution. Support such as this from GVC, along with their aim to champion women in sport and disability sport in particular, enables SportsAid to continue making a real difference to the next generation of athletes.”
The charity’s impressive track record was highlighted at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games where SportsAid alumni contributed an outstanding total of 150 medals. This included 46 of Team GB’s 67 medals (20 gold, 15 silver, 11 bronze) and 104 of ParalympicsGB’s 147 medals (44 gold, 28 silver and 32 bronze).