Ross Paterson

Rising para-athletics star Ross Paterson says SportsAid funding has given him a much-needed boost in confidence.

The 22-year-old is a beneficiary of GVC Holdings’ three-year partnership with SportsAid, helping young athletes 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.

Marshall, who was crowned English champion in the under 69kg weight category in March, says the funding is a godsend and helps her travel to London for training camps.

“SportsAid funding has been incredible for me, it’s helped me massively,” said the Paisley-born runner.

“I was a very shy boy growing up and knowing I’m on the same programme as Olympic and Paralympic champions is a huge confidence boost.

“They’ve helped make me into the athlete that I am today and they’ve given me the confidence to be myself and show the world who I am on the track.”

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.

“Funding helped me buy a new set of spikes and running shoes,” Paterson said.

“I can’t wait to get going again and the support SportsAid give you makes you want to pay them back with success.

“I can’t speak highly enough of how they’ve worked with us during lockdown, always checking in and giving us challenges to do at home.”

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.