Olympic champion Adam Peaty MBE has given his backing to the next generation of British sporting talent by signing up as an official ambassador for SportsAid Week 2018. Swimming hero Adam, who received financial help and recognition from SportsAid as a 17-year-old, is getting behind the fundraising initiative designed to support young talented athletes aspiring to represent Great Britain at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.
SportsAid Week, which takes place this year from 24-30 September, has generated over £90,000 following its launch in 2016. The annual week of fun and fundraising is open to everybody with Olympians, Paralympians, up-and-coming athletes, National Governing Bodies, schools, universities, commercial organisations and individuals all previously coming together to play their part towards the country’s sporting future.
All the money raised from SportsAid Week goes directly to SportsAid. The charity provides support to more than 1,000 athletes each year, typically aged between 12 and 18, from over 60 sports. The award athletes receive helps with the training and competition costs they face while also offering an important motivational boost. Adam, 23, benefitted from SportsAid’s help in 2012 and hasn’t looked back since.
“SportsAid makes a real difference to Britain’s most talented young sports stars – providing financial backing, and recognition, during the critical early stages of their development,” said multiple world champion Adam. “I had support from the charity when I was just 17 and it helped me to focus on my swimming as I looked to establish myself at senior level. Four years later, I became Olympic champion.
“Up-and-coming athletes have to make big sacrifices every day, a lot that go unseen, to be the best they can be – most of them are balancing their education at the same time,” continued the 100m and 50m breaststroke world record holder. “There will always be a next generation. You can give them a helping hand on their journey by getting involved in the fantastic fundraising activity throughout SportsAid Week.”
Five-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds OBE, Olympic silver and bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad and sporting soprano Laura Wright are all returning as SportsAid Week ambassadors. They are joining Adam in shining a spotlight on the dedication and determination demonstrated by young sports stars and their families to pursue their sporting ambitions alongside their many other commitments.
“Fundraising is so important to SportsAid being able to give out financial awards to young athletes – just like they did for me,” said Lutalo. “You see the financial pressure you’re putting on your mum and dad, all because they want to help you achieve your dream of becoming Olympic champion, so receiving that help from the outside provides you with the recognition that you’re going in the right direction.”
SportsAid Week encourages a wide range of fundraising activity – no idea is too big or too small. A fun and easy way to get involved is through the #MyMiles challenge. The social media campaign asks the British public to keep young athletes company as they train and compete by physically covering a distance of your choice, via any form of exercise, before making a nomination and donation to continue the chain.
A grand total of 5,741 miles were covered by SportsAid supporters last year when the challenge was first introduced to SportsAid Week. Many people used #MyMiles as a platform to launch sponsorship pages, either individually or with friends and colleagues, to take on cycles, rows, runs, swims, walks and triathlons for the charity. On average, a SportsAid athlete covers 43 miles under their own steam every week.
Bake sales, quizzes, fancy dress days and healthy eating challenges, all with a sporting twist, are equally brilliant ways to show your support. Raising as little as £5 can be enough to help a young athlete travel to their next training session whilst £1,000 is able to fund a major one-off cost such as a warm-weather training camp or transport and accommodation for an international competition.
“I remember when I had help from SportsAid and it’s really important when you’re starting out in your sport,” said Ellie. “It gives you the confidence to succeed knowing that there are people out there who believe in you. That’s why SportsAid Week is such a great idea. It’s an opportunity to show the next generation of athletes that we’re right behind them and want to do what we can to help them on their way.”
SportsAid Week 2018 takes place from Monday 24 September to Sunday 30 September. You can request your FREE fundraising pack today, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. Thank you for your support!