SportsAid is proud to have a rich heritage extending back to its formation in 1976.
Originally known as the Sports Aid Foundation, there have been many major landmarks to celebrate over the course of the charity’s history.
The Sports Aid Foundation is founded as part of a plan involving Denis Howell, the UK’s first Sports Minister, ahead of the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games. The Foundation is created to provide appropriate funding, in the absence of Government support, to support the country's top athletes.
David Wilkie is the first Sports Aid Foundation award recipient. The university student, based in Miami, is deemed a strong medal hope at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games. Come Games time, he wins gold in the 200m breaststroke, setting a new world record, and silver in the 100m breaststroke.
The Sports Aid Foundation is selected as the first official charity of the London Marathon and granted entry places to help with fundraising. London Marathon co-founders Chris Brasher and John Disley made the arrangements and SportsAid had 355 runners who managed to raise £43,000!
UK Sport is established to oversee the strategic investment of Great Britain's Olympic and Paralympic teams through National Lottery funding. From this point onwards, SportsAid begins to focus solely on helping talented young athletes - the next generation - as they progress up the pathway.
The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, to be overseen and managed by SportsAid, is launched. The new scheme, funded by the National Lottery, is designed to help athletes in education - aged 16-plus - to get the best from sport and education without having to choose between the two.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge becomes SportsAid’s Patron. The charity welcomed The Duchess to her first public engagement after the birth of Prince George - an athlete workshop at the Copper Box Arena where she was given an insight into the support provided by SportsAid.
Sir Elton John, a long-standing supporter of SportsAid, hosts a fundraising concert at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire to help support the next generation of British athletes through the charity. The event generates over £300,000 for SportsAid and leads to the formation of the Elton John Sports Fund.
Sport England launches the Backing The Best programme to be overseen and managed by SportsAid. The new scheme, funded by the National Lottery, is designed to support athletes who would face difficulties progressing through their sport’s talent development system without critical financial help.
The inaugural SportsAid Week takes place to help celebrate the charity’s 40th anniversary. The initiative is launched as a key annual fundraising drive to support the next generation of British sporting heroes. The charity’s supporters manage to raise over £40,000 during the first edition.
SportsAid alumni have huge success at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games as they win a total of 139 medals - 40 gold, 54 silver and 45 bronze - across 18 sports. Previous beneficiaries of the charity's support contributed to 61% of the podium finishes from the Home Nations in Australia.
SportsAid is appointed as the delivery partner for the Team England Futures programme by Commonwealth Games England. The programme will see young athletes and aspiring team support staff provided with unique experiences and insights at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
SportsAid’s impressive track record is further highlighted at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games where the charity’s alumni won 141 medals. This includes 47 of Team GB’s 65 medals (14 gold, 19 silver, 14 bronze) and 94 of ParalympicsGB’s 124 medals (26 gold, 33 silver and 35 bronze).
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