SportsAid Week 2021: Supporting the next generation of sports stars
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SportsAid, the UK's leading charity for young athletes, celebrates its 45th anniversary this year – and this week is SportsAid Week, providing an opportunity to shine a light on the work they do to help the nation's brightest prospects succeed and achieve their ambitions – including many young tennis players.
This year alone the charity is supporting over 20 young tennis and wheelchair tennis players that are part of the LTA’s National Age Group Programme, helping them return to tennis after the pandemic.
A star-studded list of alumni
Since its foundation in 1976, SportsAid has supported tens of thousands of athletes by distributing over £50 million in awards. The charity's extensive alumni stretches across the generations with Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Sarah Storey, Steve Redgrave, Katherine Grainger and Daley Thompson all stand-out names.
Over 400 athletes competing across the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics this year received financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities from SportsAid at an early point in their careers, including the likes of Laura Kenny, Ellie Simmonds, Adam Peaty, Tom Daley, and Dina Asher-Smith have all received SportsAid awards.
However, one of the most high profile names among their alumni is now Emma Raducanu, with the newly-crowned US Open champion having first received a SportsAid award as a 12 year old and was supported by the charity in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
To help promote the charity, Raducanu joined other young tennis players for an exhibition doubles match at the Champions Tennis match at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017.
Promoting SportsAid's contribution to supporting the next generation of sporting talent
Taking place throughout this week (20-26 September), SportsAid Week is helping to promote the work done by the charity and their contribution towards supporting the next generation of sporting talent. The week helps the charity raise funds through their #MyMiles Challenge - encouraging people to undertake their own physical activity, either individually or collectively in aid of the charity.
SportsAid Week first took place in 2016 and was launched as a key fundraising drive to support the next generation of British sporting heroes, receiving widespread backing over the years. Back in 2016, Raducanu joined a tennis-a-thon where she helped raise funds for SportsAid Week and made her contribution to the #MyMiles Challenge.