Costs rising for young sportspeople

SportsAid survey shows importance of investment into talented athletes via programmes like Backing the Best

24 September 2019 News Funding

Talented young athletes spend, on average, more than £7,000 a year on their sporting endeavours, new research shows.

The figures come from a survey of SportsAid athletes and coincides with the charity’s major fundraising week.

Information from the 650 respondents shows that investment from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ has risen from £5,022 to £7,089 a year over the last decade.

SportsAid provides both financial and non-financial support to talented young athletes, with their alumni going on to win 69% of Team GB’s medals and 71% of ParalympicsGB’s medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As part of our Backing the Best programme that's delivered through SportsAid, we provide financial support to more than 100 talented young athletes.

And for our executive director of sport, Phil Smith, the investment is a vital part of our Talent Plan.

“We wish to create the world’s best sporting talent system, which constantly delivers results,” he said.

“For us that means great athletes and great performances, but it also means a system which is open to young people from different backgrounds and circumstances.

“Our investment in SportsAid makes it possible for many more athletes to fulfil their potential.”

Contributing to the financial cost of competing, the survey – carried out by Nunki Solutions – found that SportsAid’s athletes typically travel 373 miles a week to get to training and competitions, up more than 80% from last year’s figure of 207.

As an illustration of the dedication to their burgeoning sporting careers the athletes, aged 12-18 years, typically train twice a day and combine this with school or college work.

The survey found that 100% of their athletes considered the financial award they receive from SportsAid to be essential or helpful in allowing them to train and compete – with 15% of respondents saying they would have to consider giving up were it not for the support they receive.

Since its inception in 2016, SportsAid Week has raised almost £150,000 to help keep the sporting dreams of talented young athletes alive.

To play your part in SportsAid Week and join in their #MyMiles challenge, or to learn more and make a one-off donation, visit their website.