62 Scottish high performance athletes with the potential to deliver a podium finish at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Sochi Olympic Winter Games have been boosted with the news that they are recipients of individual sportscotland Athlete Personal Awards (SAPAs).
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, joined sportscotland Chair Louise Martin CBE and sportscotland Director of High Performance Mike Whittingham to announce the Scottish athletes and sports being given the awards.
Amongst the SAPA recipients and Team Scotland hopefuls, three-time Paralympic track cycling gold medallist Aileen McGlynn and recent badminton French International mixed doubles winners, Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair were also in attendance.
£396,917 has been allocated to 15 sports in the second round of three SAPA announcements, which is a significant increase from the first investment of £204,000 and 13 sports, supported during financial year 2011/12.
So far, with a further round to go, £600,917 has been invested in the SAPAs, which have benefitted athletes such as Commonwealth Games medallists athletics’ Eilidh Child, shooting’s Jennifer McIntosh, and weightlifting’s Peter Kirkbride.
Within the second year’s investment, badminton and cycling have also received team medal support awards of £30,000 and £40,000 respectively. Hockey will also be supported through a team award.
Commenting, Shona Robison said: “We are now approaching the business end of the athletes’ preparations and all the work they are doing with the Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport and the world-class support they are receiving from the sportscotland institute of sport coaches, scientists, and experts has ensured that Team Scotland’s athletes will be the best prepared going into a Commonwealth Games.”
The awards are from the sportscotand Lottery Fund and additional investment from the Scottish Government. Awards help the athletes cover training, competition, and living costs. Additional support in these areas can be invaluable for athletes striving for Commonwealth or Olympic success.
Louise Martin added: “I am delighted to see that there are now more athletes and more sports receiving more investment from the sportscotland Athlete Personal Awards. This is the second SAPA announcement and when the third and final list of recipients is unveiled, we will have put more than a million pounds into supporting well over 100 Scottish athletes.
“Using a mixture of Lottery and Scottish Government funding, we are building a world-class system for high performance athletes in Scotland and this is an important component of delivering the sporting legacy from hosting the Commonwealth Games. Initiatives such as SAPAs can help deliver success on the global stage.”
The sportscotland Athlete Personal Awards (SAPA) were established as a three-year initiative specifically targeted at potential medal-winning athletes for Glasgow 2014, covering the three-year period before the Games. This initiative is one of many planned to make a difference to our Scottish athletes as they prepare for a home soil Commonwealth Games in 2014 in Glasgow.
Mike Whittingham said: “Some of our athletes are already on UK-funded world-class programmes and require a ‘top-up’, while others are in the early stages of their high performance career and need that additional support to help them train and compete at the right level as they approach 2014.
“SAPAs help ensure that Scottish athletes have the time to be fully focussed and concentrate on important areas such as recovery and injury prevention. It is challenging to achieve success on the word stage and meticulous preparation is an essential ingredient.
Scotland is increasingly becoming a great place to be a high performance athlete as we have growing investment coupled with new world-class facilities and equipment. The ability to increase training and contact time with coaches will help enormously as Team Scotland and its athletes aim to deliver success and to help achieve their best ever results at the Commonwealth Games.”
SAPA recipient track cyclist Aileen McGlynn said:
“I am delighted to have been awarded an individual sportscotland Athlete Personal Award, which will provide the added assistance required to help me compete at the highest level in Glasgow next year.
“And with cycling also receiving a Team Award, the sport will be the best prepared it has ever been heading into a Commonwealth Games. This investment, coupled with the passionate home crowd cheering us on in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, will undoubtedly help all the cyclists to perform to the best of their abilities and hopefully see us deliver medals for Team Scotland.”
Welcoming the announcement Team Scotland Chef de Mission Jon Doig said: “We would like to thank sportscotland for putting this scheme in place, which will greatly enhance the opportunity for athletes to gain selection and deliver medals for Team Scotland in Glasgow next year.
“At the highest level of sport, it is all about small margins and we believe that with SAPAs playing a key part in the integrated progamme of high performance support provide by the institute and its partners, it can help us achieve those crucial marginal gains.”
For a full list of the athletes receiving SAPAs see downloads section on left of this page.