Sport England Backing The Best

Groundbreaking scheme that will commit £5.5 million of National Lottery Funding




The rising cost of becoming a sports star has led to some of England’s top up-and-coming talent dropping out of sport altogether.

Research carried out by the charity SportsAid shows athletes and their families are paying, on average, £6,200 a year to fund their child's sporting ambitions.

Backing The Best – our groundbreaking scheme that will commit £5.5 million of National Lottery funding over four years – will support the families of the next Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis-Hill or Ellie Simmonds who might feel competitive sport is otherwise out of their financial reach.

What are the challenges?

One of the biggest challenges facing many talented young athletes is the cost of travel and accommodation, especially when the athlete in question climbs the ladder of success and starts to compete on the international stage.

According to the study, more than two thirds of young athletes rely entirely on their parents and charitable donations to fund their sporting dreams.

The bank of mum and dad covered a collective bill of more than £7.5 million annually for 1,192 young SportsAid-supported athletes, with parents taking on second jobs or having to go without to make ends meet.

Who are we supporting?

While Backing the Best is looking to open up opportunities for talented young athletes, the scheme isn't open to everyone – only young, exceptionally talented athletes in the early stages of their careers and who face the greatest financial challenges will qualify.

SportsAid, which is managing the new scheme, already supports a host of athletes facing similar challenges, including 18 year-old amateur boxer Sophie Colbourn and nine-time BMX racing champion Kye Whyte.

Click here to find out more and get involved..........

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