The Duchess of Cambridge sent a message out for SportsAid Week last week, her message coinciding with the ramp-up in training and trials for spots on Team Great Britain ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics next year.
Kate’s message reads:
“The countdown for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games has well and truly begun. There is less than a year to go until we find ourselves glued to screens across the country with family, friends, and strangers cheering on Team GB and Paralympics GB.
“While the excitement grows for all of us at home, for the elite athletes involved it is the culmination of years and years of hard work and immense commitment and dedication by their families, who do so much to support them. For each, their journey is unique – involving determination, personal sacrifice, and an often unrivalled level of dedication. They show just how transformational a role sport can play in our lives and provide inspiration to us all.
“As Patron of SportsAid, I have been fortunate to meet many of the country’s most talented young athletes in the earliest stages of their development. I have always been impressed by their ability to balance their education alongside training and competing, as well as meeting the challenging costs of their sport. The staff, supporters and partners of SportsAid have played a pivotal role in many of their journeys by ensuring that all young aspiring athletes have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“This September, SportsAid Week presents a fresh opportunity for us to shine a light on the next generation of British sporting talent.
“Together, we can support and encourage these young role models to keep pursuing their goals, and help them reach the summit of sporting excellence – making all of us proud.”
SportsAid Week takes place over the last week of September and aims to fundraise for Great Britain’s top rising athletes. SportsAid, the charity, has existed since 1976, while SportsAid Week was launched after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil. Over £150,000 has been raised during SportsAid Week since its creation.
Per SportsAid’s website, “A SportsAid athlete and their family will spend over £7,000 each year in meeting the costs of their sport. Without the charity’s support, many of these young prospects, typically aged 12 to 18, would face a tough decision on whether to continue training and competing. They come from more than 60 sports – the majority of which feature in the Olympics and Paralympics.”
SportsAid funding is a tier below receiving funding from the National Lottery, and athletes must be nominated to receive a grant. At the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio, 150 medals were won by SportsAid alumni.
Kate has been the patron of SportsAid since 2013 and has attended numerous events to show her support for up-and-coming British athletes.