SportsAid and the Melton Building Society are excited to be embarking on a new partnership providing talented young athletes in the East Midlands with financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities to help them fulfil their potential. The Melton has committed to supporting four local future Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games stars with SportsAid.
Kelechi Aguocha (athletics), Amber Haycock (para swimming), Xavi Salcedo (triathlon) and Millie Van Nierop (netball) are the first beneficiaries of the link-up. Kelechi, 20, Amber, 13, Xavi, 18, and Millie, 18, are among the country’s brightest prospects having been nominated to SportsAid by their sport’s national governing bodies. Each athlete will receive an annual award of £1,000 to contribute towards costs such as travel, accommodation and equipment.
“We are proud to be supporting the next generation of athletes. The past year has been a challenging period for sports people who have had their ability to train and compete massively restricted, so we are delighted that the Society is able to help provide opportunities for local sporting talent to realise their full potential,” said Simon Taylor, Chief Executive, the Melton Building Society.
“The Society is committed to investing in our communities and supporting grassroots sports for young people,” continued Simon. “By partnering with SportsAid we hope to engage with our young members to inspire them to get involved with the excitement of watching and playing sport.”
SportsAid, which was founded in 1976, supports more than 1,000 young athletes – generally from ages 12 to 18. The charity helps the next generation of British sports stars at the start of their careers – when most of them rely on parents for funding due to having no other sources of income. Over the last 45 years, more than £50 million in awards has been distributed by SportsAid.
The charity’s impressive track record was particularly highlighted at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games where SportsAid alumni managed to return a stunning haul of 150 medals collectively across the two Games. This included 46 of Team GB’s 67 medals (20 gold, 15 silver, 11 bronze) and 104 of Paralympics GB’s 147 medals (44 gold, 28 silver and 32 bronze).
SportsAid’s extensive alumni stretches across the generations with Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Steve Redgrave, Dame Katherine Grainger and Daley Thompson CBE all stand-out names. More recently, Laura Kenny CBE, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Adam Peaty MBE and Dina Asher-Smith all received awards in the last 15 years.
“The last 16 months have brought changes none of us could have anticipated,” said Tim Lawler – SportsAid’s Chief Executive. “Our familiar routines disrupted and in some cases, as with young sports people, perhaps even grinding to a halt. Yet some things have endured, like our sense of community and comradeship in adversity. Communities across the country have come together to help others and our new partnership with the Melton Building Society is a great example of this.
“Through SportsAid, the Society is supporting local, talented young sports people from the communities in which it operates. Helping young, local heroes to bounce-back and find their sporting routine again. Organisations like the Melton Building Society recognise the importance of helping the next generation.”