20 May 2023

Entain announces Class of 2023 athletes to receive SportsAid awards

Entain, the leading global sports betting and gaming entertainment operator, is supporting 50 of the most talented young British athletes through its continued partnership with SportsAid - now entering its sixth year. The collaboration forms a keystone in the Entain Foundation’s Pitching In investment programme which is supporting and promoting grassroots initiatives.

The Entain Foundation’s total commitment to SportsAid will reach around £500,000 by the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The partnership sees athletes receive an annual award of £1,000 to contribute towards training and competition costs such as travel, accommodation, equipment and kit. Over 200 athlete awards have been distributed so far with sponsorship and fundraising key to this.

Grainne Hurst, Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Entain, said: “Our collaboration with SportsAid, who play such a pivotal role in supporting the next generation of British sporting heroes, is a huge source of pride for everyone at Entain. We are delighted to be able to support 50 of our brightest and best athletic prospects and we look forward to supporting them on their sporting journeys and cheering their successes on from the sidelines.” 

The athletes supported by Entain in 2023 stretch across 26 sporting disciplines. They are among the country’s brightest prospects having been nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of their respective sports. Most notably, Beth Shriever, who is now an Olympic, World and European champion in BMX Supercross, was among the earliest recipients of support from the partnership.   

In addition to direct financial assistance, Entain also works with SportsAid to provide the athletes with recognition and personal development opportunities. An integral aspect of the partnership is the delivery of workshops for the athletes, as well as their parents and guardians, where they receive expert advice on a range of topics including nutrition, mental wellbeing and telling your story through the media. 

Beth, who received support from Entain in 2019, said: “The partnership between Entain and SportsAid is just an amazing thing. It took a huge weight off my parents especially. There was a lot of pressure to get me to races - to get me to qualify for events. It was able to take that stress away to focus on what I love - which is my sport. I’m extremely grateful for all the SportsAid support over the years.”

Five athletes who received support from Entain in 2022 have been re-nominated and are continuing on the programme in 2023. These are track and field athletes Sophie Ashurst, Henry McLuckie and Rafeek Solaiman, archer Louisa Piper and para shooter Richard Bray. Last summer, nine previous beneficiaries of the partnership competed at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Tim Lawler, Chief Executive of SportsAid, said: “In its simplest terms, SportsAid’s purpose is to give much-deserved recognition to young sports people and them at a key time in their development. With Entain we have a long-standing partner who completely understands that. Their team see the role they can play in enabling SportsAid’s work and in amplifying the inspirational stories of the next generation of athletes. We really value their ongoing support during these uncertain times.” 

Here's Entain’s athlete intake for 2023: 

Richard Armstrong, 26, Birmingham (Boccia)
*Sophie Ashurst, 19, Manchester (Athletics)
Mari Baldwin, 18, Nottingham (Table Tennis)
Al Banerjee, 18, Brighton (Baseball)
Paul Barker, 39, Banbury (Disability Shooting)
Rebecca Bedford, 24, Burton-on-Trent (Powerlifting)
Anastasia Blease, 18, Rhuddlan (Wheelchair Basketball)
*Richard Bray, 44, Wimborne (Para Shooting)
Florence Brellisford, 19, Leigh-on-Sea (Sailing)
Alice Casburn, 21, Norwich (Equestrian)
Stefano Cataldi, 19, Lambeth (Weightlifting)
Karrie Clark, 18, Wickford (Sailing)
Edward Common, 28, Hexham (Disability Football)
Joel Connor Saunders, 26, Norwich (Wheelchair Rugby)
Stevie Davies, 25, Telford (Archery)
Callum Hall, 30, Ilkley (Para Athletics)
Emma Lee Harvey, 19, Tolworth (Gymnastics)
Robbie Hemmings, 18, Dorset (Swimming)
Ryan Henry, 22, Ardossan (Para Table Tennis)
Sophie Herbert, 22, Cheltenham (Disability Shooting)
Abigail Hong, 18, Derby (Badminton)
Aimee Hood, 18, Birmingham (Swimming)
Isabelle Howse, 18, Wetherby (Netball)
Chelsea Hudson, 18, Driffield (Goalball)
Moatez Jomni, 34, Wandsworth (Para Athletics)
Elizabeth Jordan, 25, Guildford (Para Cycling)
Millie Juleff, 20, Bodmin (Equestrian)
Amelia Kemp, 19, Bedford (Cricket)
Claudia Kerry-Roger, 18, Medmenham (Rowing)
Kyle Keyworth, 26, Bury (Para Athletics)
Isobel Kitchen, 19, Halifax (Judo)
*Henry McLuckie, 20, Newport (Athletics)
Katie Mills, 18, Old Basing (Judo)
Micah Naisbet, 18, Wingate (Wrestling)
Kieran O'Hara, 23, Upminster (Para Athletics)
Divine Oladipo, 24, Abbey Wood (Athletics)
Chukwuemeka Osammor, 21, Sheffield (Athletics)
Thomas Page, 22, Crawley (Disability Football)
*Louisa Piper, 19, Woking (Archery)
Isaac Raizada, 19, Nottingham (Short-Track Speed Skating)
William Ramsay, 20, Woking (Disability Football) 
Prince Reid, 21, Croydon (Para Athletics)
Iris Singleton, 18, Leicester (Sailing)
*Rafeek Solaiman, 23, Worksop (Para Athletics)
Sophie Taylor, 20, Rugby (Equestrian)
Joshua Tudge, 25, Leeds (Wheelchair Rugby)
Cecilia Turk, 39, Waterlooville (Boccia)
Alex Wilson, 19, Deganwy (Wheelchair Basketball)
Thomas Wing, 21, Cardiff (Para Cycling)
Daniel Wolff, 28, Wallington (Para Athletics)

*Those athletes highlighted in italics were also supported by Entain in 2022 

The support for young athletes via SportsAid is part of The Entain Foundation’s multi-million-pound grassroots sports investment programme. This also includes support for local football clubs in the Trident Leagues, as part of the “Pitching In” initiative, backing for aspiring Greek athletes through bwin’s Team Future programme and further international initiatives in the countries in which Entain operates to support grass roots and community sport.