Entain’s Foundation has extended its long-term partnership with sports charity, SportsAid, to provide funding to the most talented young British athletes through to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Entain Foundation will double its financial backing thus far to SportsAid, taking its total financial commitment to around £500,000 by Paris 2024 – making Entain one of SportsAid’s largest corporate partners.
The extension comes as the Paralympic Games get underway in Tokyo. Around a quarter of the Entain-SportsAid recipients are para-athletes, aiming to compete in future Paralympic Games.
Recipients include para table tennis player Craig Allen; the wheelchair fencer Abigail Marshall; track and field stars Charles Dobson and Joel Clarke-Khan; and wheelchair basketball talent Dylan Wade.
Overall, 165 of the 227 members of the Paralympics GB squad in Tokyo (73 per cent) have received financial support and recognition from SportsAid during their careers. Forty-eight of the SportsAid alumni announced to represent Paralympics GB in Tokyo have received support from the charity since Rio 2016.
Entain (owner of Ladbrokes and Coral in the UK) first partnered with SportsAid, a charity dedicated to support the next generation of elite British athletes, in 2018. Entain supports over 50 aspiring athletes a year across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland with each athlete receiving an annual financial support to contribute towards training, competition, travel and equipment costs.
The Entain-SportsAid partnership has so far distributed over 150 athlete awards with sponsorship and event fundraising key to this. Previous beneficiaries of the Entain-SportsAid partnership include Bethany Shriever, added the World title to the gold medal for she won for BMX Supercross and at the Tokyo Olympics.
In the recent Tokyo Olympics, SportsAid alumni starred for Team GB, winning 14 gold, 19 silver and 14 bronze medals – 72 per cent of Team GB’s total medal haul – across 20 different sports, surpassing the total of 46 medals won at Rio 2016.
In addition to direct financial assistance, Entain also works with SportsAid to supply athletes with recognition and personal development opportunities. An integral aspect of the partnership is the delivery of workshops for the athletes and their parents and guardians, where they receive expert advice on a range of topics including nutrition, mental wellbeing and dealing with the media.
Grainne Hurst, Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Entain, commented: “Following the incredible performance from British athletes at this year’s Olympic Games and the Paralympics getting under way in Tokyo, we are delighted to extend our SportsAid partnership for a further three years.
“Our collaboration with SportsAid is a huge source of pride for everyone at Entain and plays a pivotal role in supporting the next generation of British sporting heroes.”
Danny Crates, former 800m Paralympic gold medallist, world Champion and former world recorder holder, said: “Talented young athletes need the right support, at the right time, to help them fulfil their potential and ultimately achieve their ambitions,” said Danny Crates – a Paralympic gold and bronze medallist who is a leading SportsAid ambassador.
“SportsAid has maintained a crucial presence across British sport over the last 45 years – playing an important role in the country’s international success throughout that time.
“It’s the overall package offered by SportsAid which helps make such a difference to athletes – financial backing, recognition of talent, workshop support, personal development opportunities – and this has really been enhanced in recent years. The outstanding commitment of the charity’s partners, such as Entain, is vital to making that a reality and I’m delighted to see this relationship going from strength-to-strength.
”Tim Lawler, CEO of SportsAid, added: “Entain’s extended commitment will take us all the way up to the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 and comes at a very important time for talented young athletes – particularly following a challenging period over the last 18 months.
“Our partnership with Entain has continued to evolve year-on-year and the well-rounded support provided to these aspiring young sports stars gives them added confidence and motivation to pursue their ambitions. We have also seen an increased awareness of SportsAid and a much wider audience is hearing the stories behind the next generation of sporting heroes.”