Sportsmen and women throughout Cornwall are being invited to apply for a range of award packages on offer from the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) for 2020. Benefits include financial grants of up to £1250, plus free training memberships at gyms across the UK.

In 2019, 128 local athletes benefited from GSF awards in Cornwall worth £79,275 in overall value. Beneficiaries included windsurfer Finn Hawkins, from St Austell, who won a bronze medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires; Dylan Tynan, from Flushing, who represents Great Britain in British Para Table Tennis; netball player Rosie Bartlett, from Truro, who has been selected for England; Abigail Birch, from Penzance, who represents the UK as a para athlete and pentathlete Charlotte Hicks, from Pensilva, near Liskeard, who made it through to the Under 19 European Championships final in Lithuania this summer.

“It costs between £8,000 to £14,000 per year to keep a top-level athlete competing,” said Chair of the GSF Foundation, Peter Bundey, at this year’s awards presentation in Falmouth in May. “We never ask how the money we provide is going to be spent because we understand the costs involved and know how important it is for each athlete and their families to make those decisions for themselves.”

GLL runs more than 250 leisure centres and is the largest charitable social enterprise of its kind in the country. In April 2017, it took on a 25-year contract to run Cornwall’s network of leisure centres and sports amenities on behalf of the Council.

“Our annual GSF awards are a great opportunity for local people of all ages to apply for the extra help they need in developing their sporting talent,” said GLL’s Community Sports Manager Karen Edmond. “Cornwall-based Paralympians Dave Wetherill and Melissa Reid are just two of our success stories. Both GSF ambassadors, Dave won gold and bronze medals at the recent European Para Table Tennis Championships and Melissa is a visually impaired triathlete who won a bronze medal at the Rio Paralympics.

“We have supported many thousands of athletes like them nationally over the last eleven years and look forward to supporting many more in 2020.”

GSF applications are open from 20 December 2019 until 20 February 2020. For more information, visit the website.