Formed in 1976, SportsAid helps the next generation of promising young British sports people, including those with a disability, by providing them with financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities during the critical early stages of their sporting journey. At this crucial stage, their only direct support is that of their parents and family as they have not yet progressed to the level to be able to access National Lottery or commercial sponsorship. In a typical year, a SportsAid athlete and their family will spend on average over £7,000 in meeting the costs of their sport. These costs, incurred by travel, accommodation, competition entry, training and equipment have been rising year on year and for athletes with a disability, these can often be even higher. The overall average spend for a SportsAid athlete has risen 49% over the last 11 years.
SportsAid shares a proud history with the West Midlands and since 1976 has supported countless young sports people from the region. Ellie Simmonds OBE and Denise Lewis OBE were both supported by SportsAid in the early stages of their careers. SportsAid’s new West Midlands Talent Fund initiative aims to support 100 young sports people from the region each year from 2022-2026, coinciding with the year of SportsAid’s 50th anniversary and the next Commonwealth Games in 2026. The Fund’s vision is to ensure that every young person from the West Midlands nominated by their national governing body to SportsAid for support will benefit from an Award, helping to support the next generation from the region from the region achieve their goals.