Alex Baker

Pink Addidas rugby boots proved the perfect use of GVC Holdings and SportsAid’s funding for rugby union star Alex Baker.

The 18-year-old plays for Loughborough Lightning and has also got a taste of the bright international lights through England Under-20s, currently brushing shoulders with Red Rose stars Emily Scarratt and Sarah Hunter at her club’s training.

Tyrrells Premier 15s side Lightning wear pink – and fly-half Baker wasted no time in investing in new footwear to match when GVC and SportsAid came calling.

“It’s massively helped – I’ve been able to buy a new pair of pink adidas boots that match the Loughborough Lightning kit!” said Baker, a beneficiary of GVC’s programme which is part of the Pitching In initiative and supported by Paralympian Baroness Grey-Thompson.

“It will also definitely help with travel, and nutrition – if we do manage to get down to some camps with England Under-20s it will help with petrol money.

“It really does give you an extra drive to know that there’s not just you, but there are other people behind you and supporting you as well.”

GVC announced a three-year partnership with SportsAid last year 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.

Baker possesses World Cup aspirations for England and hopes the impact of GVC and SportsAid’s support can propel her to the greatest heights of all.

“I hope SportsAid’s funding can help me break into the England setup and achieve my long-term goals,” added Baker, who is following in the footsteps of recent SportsAid athletes Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Peaty MBE.

“The work that’s being put in now and the support I’m getting will help me be where I want to be in the next few years.”

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.