SportsAid Week 2020 (21-27 September) is taking place for its fifth consecutive year and comes as the charity embarks on a new chapter.
With the huge challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, SportsAid want to take this opportunity to celebrate the dedication and resilience shown by the next generation of British sporting heroes.
SportsAid supports over 1,000 athletes each year – the vast majority aged 12 to 18 – by providing them with a financial award to help towards training and competition costs.
These athletes are Great Britain’s brightest sporting prospects. Did you know that eight of the Vitality Roses gold medal winning Commonwealth Games squad are SportsAid alumni?
Beth Cobden ✅
Eboni Beckford-Chambers ✅
Helen Housby ✅
Jodie Gibson ✅
Jo Harten ✅
Kadeen Corbin ✅
Nat Haythornthwaite ✅
Serena Guthrie ✅ https://t.co/oDPc8gFDAq
— SportsAid (@TeamSportsAid) April 11, 2018
The prospect of competing at the highest level internationally is what motivates these young sports stars as they aim to bring medals home for their country.
They show huge levels of dedication, commitment and sacrifice in pursuing their sporting ambitions – including covering 43 miles, on average, under their own steam in training every week.
England U21 defender Funmi Fadoju spoke at a SportsAid event about her journey so far, her sporting ambitions to represent the Vitality Roses at netball’s pinnacle events and how her cause is being helped by SportsAid and the Backing The Best programme.
“I’ve played since year four when in a PE lesson my coach noticed that I was quite sporty and told me to come along to watch the older team,” she said.
“After that I just kept coming to participate more and it grew into an actual sport for me. My proudest achievement is being chosen for the Under-19s Australia and New Zealand tour.
“I want to play for the Vitality Roses in the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup in the starting seven.”
Roses Academy player Georgina Forde Wells currently balances netball and athletics.
She recently competed in the triple jump in the British Athletics Championships in Manchester and was the youngest competitor in her event, jumping to her outdoor personal best in the process.
Without the funding, she wouldn’t be able to compete in both sports at such a high level.
Find out more about SportsAid here.