This week marks the return of SportsAid Week (23-29
September), an annual week of fundraising activity designed to assist the
charity in helping to support the careers of the next generation of British
Now in its fourth year, SportsAid Week has helped to
generate almost £150,000 of additional funding.
At last year’s Commonwealth Games SportsAid athletes contributed towards 101 of the 136 medals achieved by Team England.
With SportsAid funding crucial to the development of many of Team England’s sporting stars in their early sporting careers, here’s a look back at just a few of the athletes whose careers were kickstarted by SportsAid funding.
Since first receiving SportsAid funding Dina Asher-Smith has risen to become one of the global stars of her sport.
A promising athlete at Blackheath & Bromley Harriers, Asher-Smith has gone on to become Britain’s fastest woman over both 100m and 200m, building an impressive medal collection in the process.
Having first competed for Team England at the 2011 Isle of Man Commonwealth Youth Games where she won gold, Asher-Smith made her senior Commonwealth Games debut in 2018 on the Gold Coast.
First winning individual bronze in the 200m, the Orpington-born athlete then teamed up alongside fellow SportsAid athletes Asha Philip, Bianca Williams and Lorraine Ugen to top the podium in the women’s 4x100m relay.
To put it simply, Nick Matthew has won it all.
From receiving his SportsAid award in 1997 and turning professional just one year later, Matthew has complied a sporting résumé that is nothing short of remarkable.
A three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, three-time world champion and former world number one-ranked player are just a few of the accolades he has collected during his glittering career in squash.
As a veteran of five Commonwealth Games for Team England having competed at every Games since Melbourne 2006, the Sheffield-born star has four Commonwealth medals to his name.
First winning double gold in the men’s singles and men’s doubles at Delhi 2010, Matthew was chosen to be Team England’s flag bearer four years later in Glasgow where singles gold doubles silver followed.
Still just 20 years of age and with plenty more years in the pool ahead of her, Alice Tai already has a medal collection that would match up against the best.
Bursting onto the international swimming scene at the age of 15, Tai wasted no time in becoming a Commonwealth, Paralympic, World & European champion.
Making her Team England debut at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, not only did Tai win gold in the S9 100m backstroke and silver in the S9 100m freestyle, but she also became England’s 100th Commonwealth gold medallist in the pool.
At this month’s World Para-Swimming Championships in London
Tai continued to stamp her authority on the international field by winning gold
in seven of her eight events.