25 August 2021
Entain Doubles Funding to SportsAid Through to Paris 2024 Olympics
Leading Corporate SportsAid Sponsor Backs 2021 Paralympians
Entain, the leading global sports betting and gaming entertainment operator, is today pleased to announce that its Foundation has extended its long-term partnership with sports charity, SportsAid, to provide critical funding to the most talented young British athletes all the way through to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Entain Foundation will double its financial backing thus far to SportsAid, taking its total financial commitment to around £500,000 by Paris 2024– making Entain one of SportsAid’s largest corporate partners.
The extension comes as the Paralympic Games get underway in Tokyo. Around a quarter of the Entain-SportsAid recipients are para-athletes, aiming to compete in future Paralympic Games. Recipients include para table tennis player Craig Allen; the wheelchair fencer Abigail Marshall; track and field stars Charles Dobson and Joel Clarke-Khan; and wheelchair basketball talent Dylan Wade.
Overall, 165 of the 227 members of the Paralympics GB squad in Tokyo (73%) have received financial support and recognition from SportsAid during their careers. Forty-eight of the SportsAid alumni announced to represent Paralympics GB in Tokyo have received support from the charity since Rio 2016.
Entain (owner of Ladbrokes and Coral in the UK) first partnered with SportsAid, a charity dedicated to support the next generation of elite British athletes, in 2018. Entain supports over 50 aspiring athletes a year across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland with each athlete receiving an annual financial support to contribute towards training, competition, travel and equipment costs.
The Entain-SportsAid partnership has so far distributed over 150 athlete awards with sponsorship and event fundraising key to this. Previous beneficiaries of the Entain-SportsAid partnership include Bethany Shriever, who this weekend added the World title to the gold medal for she won for BMX Supercross and at the Tokyo Olympics.
In the recent Tokyo Olympics, SportsAid alumni starred for Team GB, winning 14 gold, 19 silver and 14 bronze medals – 72% of Team GB’s total medal haul – across 20 different sports, surpassing the total of 46 medals won at Rio 2016.
In addition to direct financial assistance, Entain also works with SportsAid to supply athletes with recognition and personal development opportunities. An integral aspect of the partnership is the delivery of workshops for the athletes and their parents and guardians, where they receive expert advice on a range of topics including nutrition, mental wellbeing and dealing with the media.
Grainne Hurst, Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Entain: “Following the incredible performance from British athletes at this year’s Olympic Games and the Paralympics getting under way in Tokyo, we are delighted to extend our SportsAid partnership for a further three years. Our collaboration with SportsAid is a huge source of pride for everyone at Entain and plays a pivotal role in supporting the next generation of British sporting heroes.”
Danny Crates, former 800m Paralympic gold medallist, world Champion and former world recorder holder: “Talented young athletes need the right support, at the right time, to help them fulfil their potential and ultimately achieve their ambitions,” said Danny Crates – a Paralympic gold and bronze medallist who is a leading SportsAid ambassador. “SportsAid has maintained a crucial presence across British sport over the last 45 years – playing an important role in the country’s international success throughout that time.
“It’s the overall package offered by SportsAid which helps make such a difference to athletes – financial backing, recognition of talent, workshop support, personal development opportunities – and this has really been enhanced in recent years. The outstanding commitment of the charity’s partners, such as Entain, is vital to making that a reality and I’m delighted to see this relationship going from strength-to-strength.
”Tim Lawler, CEO of SportsAid said: “Entain’s extended commitment will take us all the way up to the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024 and comes at a very important time for talented young athletes – particularly following a challenging period over the last 18 months.
“Our partnership with Entain has continued to evolve year-on-year and the well-rounded support provided to these aspiring young sports stars gives them added confidence and motivation to pursue their ambitions. We have also seen an increased awareness of SportsAid and a much wider audience is hearing the stories behind the next generation of sporting heroes.”
The support for young athletes via SportsAid is part of The Entain Foundation’s multi-million-pound grassroots sports investment programme. This also includes support for local football clubs in the Trident Leagues, as part of the “Pitching In” initiative, backing for aspiring Greek athletes through bwin’s Team Future programme and further international initiatives in the countries in which Entain operates to support grass roots and community sport.
About Entain plc
Entain plc (LSE: ENT) is a FTSE100 company and is one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands; Sports Brands include bwin, Bet.pt, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Neds and Sportingbet; Gaming Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, Ninja Casino, Optibet, partypoker and PartyCasino. The Group owns proprietary technology across all its core product verticals and in addition to its B2C operations provides services to a number of third-party customers on a B2B basis. The Group has also entered into a joint-venture with MGM Resorts to capitalise on the sports betting and gaming opportunity in the US, through BetMGM. Entain provides the technology which powers BetMGM and exclusive games and products, specially developed at its in-house gaming studios. The Group is tax resident in the UK with licenses in a total of 27 regulated markets. Entain is a leader in ESG, a member of FTSE4Good, the DJSI and is AA rated by MSCI. The Group has set an SBT, committing to be carbon net zero by 2035 and through the Entain Foundation supports a variety of initiatives, focusing on safer gambling, grassroots sport, diversity in technology and community projects.
For more information see the Group’s website: www.entaingroup.com
SportsAid supports over 1,000 athletes each year – the vast majority aged 12 to 18 – by providing them with a financial award to help towards training and competition costs. This acts as a real motivational boost as it is often the first recognition they receive outside of their support network. Most of them rely heavily on their parents as they have no other funding.
These athletes are Great Britain’s brightest sporting prospects. They are nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports based on set criteria from each. The typical value of a SportsAid award is £1,000 with money generated through a combination of commercial partnerships, trust and charitable funds, and fundraising activities.
The charity delivers personal development opportunities to many athletes through workshop sessions. This sees them offered mentoring by Olympians and Paralympians while gaining advice from industry experts on performance lifestyle management, sports psychology, nutrition, telling your story through the media and how best to seek further sponsorship.
Since 1976, SportsAid has supported tens of thousands of athletes by distributing over £50 million in awards. The charity’s extensive alumni stretches across the generations with Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Steve Redgrave, Dame Katherine Grainger, Daley Thompson CBE and Denise Lewis OBE all stand-out names.
More recently, Laura Kenny CBE, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Adam Peaty MBE, Georgie Hermitage MBE, Jade Jones MBE, Hollie Arnold MBE, Pam Relph MBE, Natasha Baker MBE, Tom Daley, Lutalo Muhammad and Dina Asher-Smith have all received SportsAid awards within the last decade.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge became the Patron of SportsAid in 2013 and has met many talented young athletes helped by the charity, as well as Olympians and Paralympians who were previous beneficiaries at training days, performance workshops and fundraising events.
SportsAid also manages the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and Backing The Best (BTB) programme on behalf of Sport England. TASS helps athletes (16-plus) balance their sporting and academic careers, while BTB supports the most financially challenged young sports stars.
For more information see www.sportsaid.org.uk
Registered charity number – (#1111612)