Backing The Best - our ground-breaking scheme that will commit £5.5 million next generation of stars

New research shows that parents of up and coming sports stars have to spend as much as £27,000 a year to support their child's training.

This has led to some of England's best young talent dropping out and not pursuing their sporting ambitions. Today, Sport England launches a new scheme, Backing the Best, to support talented new athletes.

SportsAid charity, who are delivering the scheme, say that 68 per cent of young athletes are completely reliant on their parents, or charitable donations, to enable them to follow their sporting dreams.


Sport England's Backing the Best Scheme is offering up to £5.5 million of National Lottery Funding over a four year period to support these talented youngsters, who without the funding might not get an opportunity to fulfil their potential.

There will be awards of up to £5,000 which will be given on a case by case basis. The funding will be spent on important costs such as accommodation, travel, kit and coaching and physiotherapy as required.

The first round of awards will be made in February 2016 and will be given to around 100 athletes. This sill rise to 200 athletes in the three years following.

Jennie Price, Sport England's Chief Executive, said: “It's impossible not to admire the young people who dedicate themselves to being the best they can be in their sport. But for some, a hard road becomes an impossible one due to tough financial circumstances.

"That's why we created Backing The Best. We can't make competitive sport any easier, but we can make it possible for those who deserve the chance."

The scheme is not open to everyone and only those who are facing the most financial hardship will qualify, and they will also need to be very talented and in the early stages of their careers.

For more information on the project, please click here.