FROM THE WEBSITE: SportsAid helps young, unfunded athletes to overcome one of their greatest barriers to success – the financial challenge of trying to become Britain’s next generation of Olympians, Paralympians and world champions.
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. This acts as a real motivational boost as it is often the first recognition they receive outside of their support network. Most of them rely heavily on their parents as they have no other funding.
These athletes are Great Britain’s brightest sporting prospects. They are nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports based on set criteria from each. The typical value of a SportsAid award is £1,000 with money generated through a combination of commercial partnerships, trust and charitable funds, and fundraising activities.
The charity delivers personal development opportunities to many athletes through workshop sessions. This sees them offered mentoring by Olympians and Paralympians while gaining advice from industry experts on performance lifestyle management, sports psychology, nutrition, telling your story through the media and how best to seek further sponsorship.
SportsAid also manages the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and Backing The Best programme on behalf of Sport England. TASS helps athletes (16-plus) balance their sporting and academic careers, while Backing The Best supports the most financially challenged young sports stars looking to overcome cost barriers to fulfil their potential.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge became Patron in April 2013.
October 18, 2013 – The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends A Sportaid Athlete Workshop – In her first engagement as Patron of SportsAid Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge joined more than 70 SportsAid athletes past and present – including several Olympians and Paralympians – at the Copper Box Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The workshop was an opportunity for the Duchess to find out more about the challenges that young athletes face and how SportsAid helps them to overcome them. Before leaving the arena the Duchess took part in an impromptu game of volleyball with a group of SportsAid athletes. The Duchess also took part in media, nutrition and mentoring sessions to find out more about what SportsAid athletes need in order to achieve their ambitions.
November 28, 2013 – The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends The SportsAid Annual Dinner – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends The SportsAid Annual Dinner at Victoria Embankment Gardens in London, England. During the event Catherine met with athletes, enjoyed dinner at the reception, and passed out the One-To-Watch Award.
July 05, 2014 – Attending The Tour De France Grand Depart – The Duchess of Cambridge met with five athletes supported by SportsAid at the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire. The athletes were invited to join both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the finishing line in Harrogate where SportsAid trustee Ian Braid made the introductions. The five athletes, all from Yorkshire, are javelin thrower Joe Dunderdale from Sheffield, cyclist Amelia Cass from Sheffield, cyclist Frazer Clacherty from Whitby, gymnast Loukas Jones from Leeds and skier Molly Summerhayes from Sheffield. SportsAid is one of the legacy charities of the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, supporting the next generation of British athletes.
July 29, 2014 – The Duchess of Cambridge At The Commonwealth Games – Catherine Duchess of Cambridge attends a SportsAid reception at SSE’s Home Nation House during her visit to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Her Royal Highness met with fifteen athletes – including three competitors in the Commonwealth Games at Home Nation House where she also viewed a mentoring session led by tennis star Laura Robson and former world champion open-water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne.
November 12, 2014 – SportsAid Athlete Workshop – The Duchess of Cambridge joined thirty 16 to 20-year-old athletes at the GSK Human Performance Lab in west London where they were taking part in a workshop designed to help them on their journey to the Olympic or Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 or PyeongChang in 2018. The athletes took part in a series of scientific assessments on respiration, temperature, power, cognition and body composition before joining a mentoring session with Olympic swimmer Keri-anne Payne and having the chance to meet Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir CBE. The Duchess of Cambridge took two cognitive tests to experience firsthand what the athletes had been doing. The tests measured reaction time and help facilitate skill acquisition and skill execution in athletes.
December 09, 2015 – The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Attend The ICAP Charity Day – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attended the ICAP charity day to raise funds for athletes in London, England. During their visit William and Catherine received a tour of the brokerage firm’s London offices where they met staff, brokers and representatives from their patronages who would be benefiting from proceeds raised. Catherine raised money for Place2Be and SportsAid with she and Prince William jointly conducting a deal with two banks worth a combined €400 billion. Later, The Duke and Duchess stopped for a game of table tennis with England junior table tennis stars Marcus and Denise.
June 09, 2016 – The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends The 40th Anniversary Of SportsAid – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends SportsAid’s 40th anniversary dinner at Kensington Palace in London, England. The Duchess met with SportsAid ambassadors and young athletes who will be competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games as well as some of the charity’s key supporters. The Duchess also delivered a speech saying part, ” … The brilliance of SportsAid is in really understanding just how much athletic competition gives to our country as a whole. By investing in young sporting talent, they ensure that there is a strong pipeline of inspirational heroes. These athletes then serve as motivators to everyone in the UK to get involved, get active, and embrace the power of sport to make us happier and healthier…” You can read the full speech here.
March 22, 2018 – The Duke And Duchess of Cambridge Undertake Engagements Celebrating The Commonwealth = While celebrating the Commonwealth Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge joined SportsAid and Britain’s brightest sporting prospects at the Copper Box Arena. The visit comes ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with over 350 previous SportsAid beneficiaries set to compete for their respective nations. During their visit Their Royal Highnesses watched a wheelchair basketball session led by Paralympic athletes, with The Duke being shown how to use the chair by SportsAid alumni Ade Adepitan, Gregg Warburton and Robyn Love. The Duke and Duchess also took part in a Commonwealth Quiz with The Duchess and her team losing to Prince William’s team. During the visit the pair also met with students from Chobham Academy, several SportsAid supporters, trustees, and athletes.
July 02, 2019 – Wimbledon – Day 2 – The Championships – The Duchess of Cambridge watched Britain’s Harriet Dart play against U.S. player Christina McHale in Wimbledon’s outer courts with Anna Keothavong and Katie Boulter, both ladies, along with Harriet have previously recieved support from SportsAid, a charity that offers financial support to athletes at the beginning stages of their careers. The Duchess has been Patron since 2013. Later, Catherine moved to the Royal Box to watch Angelique Kerber vs Tatijana Maria. During her visit The Duchess also visited the Aorangi Park to see the practice courts and players’ warm-up area. There she met Johanna Konta and Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray. She also met a number of finalists and winners nominated for the annual LTA Tennis Awards which recognize people who volunteer at grassroots level to grow and open up the sport.
February 16, 2020 – Visiting The London Stadium At The Olympic Park – The Duchess of Cambridge visited London Stadium at the Olympic Park in Stratford for an event dedicated to championing the parents and guardians of talented young athletes while highlighting the important role they continue to play in British sporting success. During her visit The Duchess met parents and guardians of SportsAid athletes to gain an insight into their experiences and learn about everything they do. She also heard about the findings from a focus group session highlighting the challenges they face, surprises they encounter and pride they feel, while seeking to find out how the charity can offer them a clearer voice and enhance their support.