GLL’s magnificent seven part of Team GB’s medal haul
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GLL’s magnificent seven part of Team GB’s medal haul

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Seven athletes supported by GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd) through its sports foundation came home from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Medals.

The medal winners produced two gold, two silver and three bronze medals. Golds went to Constantine Louloudis (rowing men’s four) and Scott Durant (rowing men’s eight); silvers were won by Lutalo Muhammad (taekwondo - 80kg) and Olivia Carnegie-Brown (rowing women’s eight); bronze medals went Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita (both athletics 4x100m relay), and Tom Daley (diving synchronised 10m platform).

In total, 24 Olympic athletes received financial and training support from the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF).

Team GB won a total of 67 medals in Rio, surpassing its medal haul of 65 in London 2012. The GSF-supported athletes also beat the number of medals gained in London (6).

Gold medal winner Constantine Louloudis is an ambassador for the GSF and has been actively supporting the foundation to inspire other young athletes. Shortly after his medal success he explained the pressure and expectation he had faced: “We were the top ranked men’s boat in the top rowing nation in the world. It was on us to win it. We had to do that. Having never really felt a sense of duty to country before, I really felt it that time.”

Lutalo Muhammad was one second away from winning gold in taekwondo but lost with the last action of the final.

Muhammad has been with the GSF since 2009. He said: “When I first started to compete internationally the GSF was my only source of funding and I can sincerely say 'but for' GSF I would not have transitioned from a skinny kid that loved sport to an Olympic medallist. I'll never forget the help I received.”

Dina Asher-Smith who has been supported by GSF since 2010 competed at her first Olympic Games in the Brazilian city. She reached the final and came fifth in the 200 metres, and was part of the 4x100m relay team that came home with the bronze medal. She said: “The GSF has been a key supporter for me as I have progressed within athletics.”

Former Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion Sally Gunnell is a patron of the foundation and is committed to supporting young athletes. She said: “As patron I have been able to proudly champion the need for positive recognition and tangible support directly to young sporting talent. I know from personal experience that many young athletes struggle to meet the costs associated with increased training and competition to reach their sporting dreams.”

The foundation is the largest independent athlete support programmes in the UK and in 2016 it has backed more than 2,000 athletes with financial and training assistance. More than £6.1m has been put into athlete support across Olympic, Paralympic, Special Olympic and Deaflympic sports.

Ninety per cent of award recipients receive no other centralised funding, with 73 per cent of awardees being 21 years old and under, and 35 per cent aged 16 years and under.

A further 21 GSF-supported athletes will be performing at the Paralympic Games in Rio, which begin on Wednesday 7 September.

In its bid to inspire the next generation, GLL will be hosting open days at Better leisure centres all over the country in conjunction with ITV and I Am Team GB, offering free tasters in different activities on Saturday 27 August.

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Seven athletes supported by GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd) through its sports foundation came home from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with medals.
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