Emily Bale

Emily Bale shredded 13kg in lockdown and says GVC Holdings and SportsAid’s support will help her afford a resized shooting kit.

The Barnstaple star finished third in an Air Rifle Mixed Team event in Serbia alongside her brother, Dean, last year but used the break from sport to revolutionise her fitness levels – and physique.

That’s led to Bale requiring size alterations on her expensive shooting kit – and she reckons GVC and SportsAid’s assistance will ease the financial strain.

“My kit literally doesn’t fit!” said the 21-year-old, one of 50 athletes financially supported by a three-year partnership between GVC Holdings and SportsAid as part of GVC’s Pitching In initiative.

“Shooting kit is super expensive because it’s customised to your body – and can cost between £1,300 to £2,000 just for one set.

“I’m hoping to get my current kit altered but it’s going to be a lot of work, but SportsAid support will help me fund those alterations.

“And, in the long-term, I can then buy some new kit with SportsAid support.

“I’ve managed to drop my heart rate, which will help with shooting – we turned one of our bedrooms into a mini-gym, and I feel better physically and mentally.

“I’ve got my confidence back and I’m healthier in general.”

Supported by Paralympian Baroness Grey-Thompson, GVC announced a three-year partnership with SportsAid in 2019 to help young athletes realise their potential and promote grassroots sport.

The investment will provide funding for training, travel and equipment and allow athletes access to mentoring by Olympians and Paralympians on topics such as nutrition and sports psychology.

GVC – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid’s funding came in at the beginning of lockdown and Bale also admits their support provided a welcome psychological boost.

“SportsAid’s funding was a really good reassurance for me,” added Bale, who is treading the same SportsAid pathway as Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah and Dina Asher-Smith.

“It showed me they still believe in me and want to help – it felt like they hadn’t given up on me, so that was wonderful.”

GVC is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. As part of this three-year partnership, GVC are supporting a diverse group of 50 UK athletes per year from a variety of spots and para-sports. Visit gvc-plc.com to find out more.