27 Scottish high performance athletes with the potential to make the podium at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 have been boosted with the news that they are among the latest recipients of individual sportscotland Athlete Personal Awards (SAPAs).
£192,000 has been allocated in the first year of a two year investment to athletes in six sports to provide additional support for training, competition and living expenses for the next two years.
This initiative was introduced for London 2012, Sochi 2014, and Glasgow 2014, and proved extremely successful with 30 medallists at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games having received SAPAs.
sportscotland has now invested almost £1.5 million and supported well over 100 high performance athletes through this initiative, which provides financial assistance targeted at athletes deemed to show medal-winning potential.
Individual beneficiaries from the latest round of awards include Cameron Brodie in swimming, Steph Twell in athletics, Alex Marshall in lawn bowls, and Scotland’s first female boxer to win a GB title, Stephanie Kernachan. In addition to the Commonwealth Games sports, five snowsport athletes vying for a place on Team GB for the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang will receive support.
Speaking at Scottish Boxing’s Performance Centre in the East End of Glasgow, where the awards were announced, Director of High Performance at sportscotland Mike Whittingham said: “The sportscotland Athlete Personal Awards have made a significant difference to our athletes with podium aspirations, and it’s great to be able to boost the prospects of 32 athletes who are vying for 2018 Commonwealth and Olympic places.
“SAPAs are designed to help athletes who are in the development stage of their high performance career and need additional support to help them train and compete at the right level as they approach competition.
“They help ensure that Scottish athletes can focus and concentrate on their ideal training, recovery, and injury prevention strategies. The smallest performance increment can make all the difference when competing at Commonwealth or Olympic level and that requires meticulous preparation and support.
“These athletes know they have the support of Commonwealth Games Scotland, the British Olympic Association, their governing bodies and world-class services from the sportscotland institute of sport’s team of coaches, scientists, and experts in addition to this financial award. Together we are the ‘team behind the team; and with them all the way.”
Paul Bush OBE., Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said: “Commonwealth Games Scotland is working closely with sportscotland to ensure that the sports and athletes preparing for the next Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast have the best possible opportunity to qualify for and excel at the Games.
“After the huge success of Glasgow 2014, our aim is for Team Scotland to have its most successful ever overseas Games in 2018. We therefore welcome the direct support for prospective team members through the Athlete Personal Awards, which is a crucial component in the overall support package to CGS and its member sports.”
Boxer Stephanie Kernachan said: “This award gives me the additional support I need to represent my country and make my dreams of winning on the world stage achievable. The support I have received from Boxing Scotland and the sportscotland institute of sport has allowed me to go to warm weather training camps and the sports science support from the institute is really making a difference.
“I am now completely focused on qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in 2018. I know I can compete at that level and my aim is to be Scotland’s first ever Commonwealth Games female boxing medal winner. The SAPA takes some of the pressure off, allowing me to concentrate on my training and do everything I can to get on that podium.”
A full list of recipients can be downloaded from the bottom of this webpage.
Download: sportscotland Athlete Personal Awards March 2016