Great Britain sprinting prospect Charlie Dobson is looking forward to his second year of support from Entain Holdings and SportsAid having felt the benefit of being part of the inaugural intake.
The three-year partnership, which helps young athletes across the UK fulfil their potential, was launched in 2019 with the support of Paralympian Baroness Grey-Thompson.
The initiative provides funding for training and travel, which Dobson has able to take advantage of.
“It has really helped me a lot,” said the 20-year-old, who hails from Colchester.
“It covered quite a lot of my warm weather training when I went to Portugal last year.
“It allowed me to go out with my group and get a really good couple of weeks of training in.”
The programme is part of Entain’s Pitching In, a major new multi-million-pound investment to support and promote grassroots sport, and will allow athletes to access mentoring from Olympians and Paralympians on topics including nutrition – the importance of which is apparent to Dobson.
“This year I’ll be using the funding for food, too,” he said.
“Eating healthily can be quite expensive so I’ll use it for that and save a bit for the next warm weather training, whenever we can go.”
Dobson is currently studying Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough University, for whom he was representing when he set a new BUCS Championships record of 6.64 seconds in the indoor 60m in February.
Lockdown put paid to the majority of the outdoor season but Dobson was able to compete in competitions towards the end of the summer and shone in his first ever 400m, recording the second fastest time in the country this year.
“I am now targeting Olympic relay teams in the 4x400m – my time would have put me fourth last year,” he said.
“It is a nice position to be in – having 60m for indoors and 200m and 400m for outdoors.”
Dobson cited Super Saturday at the London 2012 Olympics as his inspiration for kicking on with athletics and Team GB’s three gold medal winners on that famous evening – Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg Rutherford MBE and Sir Mo Farah – each benefited from SportsAid support on their respective journeys.
“It’s pretty cool to be a part of that,” said Dobson, who won silver in the 200m at the 2018 Under-20 World Championships.
“SportsAid have helped a lot of quality athletes and they help with the transition from juniors to seniors really well.”
Entain 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, Entain are supporting a diverse group of 50 UK athletes per year from a variety of spots and para-sports. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more.