I think it's great that SSE are getting behind future champions and creating a genuine relationship, following their journey, and taking pride in seeing all these young athletes develop right through to 2018, 2020 and beyond.
Sir Chris HoySportsAid alumnus
SSE’s partnership with SportsAid began in 2013 to create a lasting legacy from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
With SportsAid, SSE created the SSE Next Generation programme to help young disabled and non-disabled athletes across the UK who have been highlighted by their sports as being in need of financial support. All of these athletes have the potential to compete at a future Commonwealth, Olympic or Paralympic Games. From a wide range of communities, sports and backgrounds, these inspirational young people are being supported by SSE every year through to 2017.
One hundred athletes a year
After initially supporting 12 SportsAid athletes in the summer of 2013, by 2014 the SSE Next Generation programme had already grown to support 50 of the nation’s brightest prospects. The following year, building on the success of Glasgow 2014, SSE doubled that number to 100 athletes in response to a successful social media campaign, which asked people from all four home nations to tweet their support for their team in the build up to the Games using #GoScotland, #GoEngland, #GoWales or #GoNI. The nation with the most tweets, Scotland, got the largest share of the additional athletes joining the programme in 2015 followed by Wales, England and then Northern Ireland.
A lasting legacy for sport
As one of the UK’s leading energy companies and a major sponsor of British and Irish sport, SSE offers every athlete on the SSE Next Generation programme a superb package of support – including vital funding, expert mentoring and additional skills such as media training – in a bid to help them fulfil their full sporting potential and create a lasting, living legacy for sport. This legacy investment also includes the benefit of having exceptional athletes and former athletes on board such as double Paralympic champion Libby Clegg and Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor who, as official SSE ambassadors for the programme, works directly with the athletes as mentors.
Tim Lawler, SportsAid’s Chief Executive, said: “The SportsAid athletes SSE is helping are bright prospects but they face huge financial challenges. The SSE Next Generation programme is a fantastic opportunity that will benefit them enormously at a key time in their development. Committing to a four-year partnership with SportsAid shows that SSE understands the value of a genuine legacy for sport.”
"We are very proud to be working with SportsAid to support emerging talent in every home nation and create a positive legacy for sport."
Colin Banks, SSE’s Head of Sponsorship and Reward