Rising hockey star Will Prentice says SportsAid funding will help him take advantage of global opportunities as he progresses in the sport.
The 18-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.
Prentice, who plays for England at under-18 level, is increasingly getting the chance to play in Europe and beyond and feels the funding is helping him seize those.
“Getting SportsAid funding is massive,” says the Bath-born star.
“It enables me to just focus on playing hockey rather than worrying about the cost of trips to Russia, Belgium, Holland or wherever we happen to be playing.
“Hockey is an expensive sport and equipment has to be replaced really regularly so the money is invaluable in making sure I have the stuff I need.”
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.
Prentice feels privileged to follow in the footsteps of Olympic champions and with his own targets for the 2024 Games, is inspired to greater heights by being part of SportsAid.
“It’s a big honour to be part of the programme,” he said.
“The number of people who’d love to be in my position is countless.
“I know people are supporting me and to know that they think I’m an interesting character who can possibly make it all the way is nice.
“It’s really lovely to have a bit of backing as a young athlete.”
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.