Hannah Kelly

Juggling a law degree with a career in athletics has been made much easier for Bury’s Hannah Kelly thanks to financial support from GVC Holdings and SportsAid.

The 19-year-old is a beneficiary of GVC’s three-year partnership with the sports charity, helping young talent across the UK realise their potential.

Athletes get funding for training, travel and equipment, as well as mentoring by Olympians and Paralympians on topics such as nutrition and sports psychology.

And for Kelly, having both the support and funding for her future endeavours has been a major boost in a tricky year off the track.

“It means so much, to have people believing in me and seeing potential in me to achieve, it gives you such a confidence boost,” she said.

“To have a company behind me giving me that support means a lot to me.

“It gives you loads of confidence, being noticed and being thought of as having potential.

“There’s a lot of travel involved, it takes an hour on public transport to get to the group that I’m training with and that can add up quite quickly.

“Funding can go a long way. There’s hidden costs in track membership, gym membership, kit and equipment so it will be invaluable.”

The young athletes will be following in the footsteps of legendary figures such as Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah, Dame Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds OBE – all of whom received SportsAid support – and more recent beneficiaries including Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Peaty MBE.

The initiative is part of GVC’s Pitching In, a major new multi-million-pound investment programme designed to support and promote grassroots sports.

And it’s Asher-Smith who 200m runner Kelly holds in such high esteem.

She added: “Dina has always been a role model, someone to look up to, and for her to be from the same country is always really inspiring.

“To see where she came from and where she is now is amazing and it’d be so great to be on the same team as her one day or to follow in her footsteps.

“There is a really strong British team now. The relay teams have that medal potential and t always motivates you to do well when you’re seeing other people who were once in your shoes going out there and winning medals.”

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.