Young athletes from the England Junior Squad have been speaking about the help they receive from SportsAid as the charity celebrates its annual SportsAid Week.

The annual initiative, which was launched in 2016, is taking place from today until Sunday March 12. It is a dedicated week of fun and awareness-raising open to everybody and is supported by Olympians, Paralympians, up-and-coming athletes, National Governing Bodies, schools, universities and individual supporters.

Any money raised from SportsAid Week goes directly to SportsAid. The charity provides support to more than 1,000 athletes each year from around 60 sports. The award received by athletes helps with the training and competition costs they face, including equipment, accommodation and transport, while also offering personal development opportunities and much-deserved personal recognition.

A number of former and current England players have benefitted from SportsAid support, including Birmingham 2022 athletes Paul Drinkhall, Fliss Pickard, Ross Wilson and Charlotte Bardsley.

In the video below, current England Junior Squad players Joseph Hunter and Scarlett Anders talk about how the charity has helped their development.

SportsAid Week

This year’s theme focuses on ‘Accessibility and Inclusion’. SportsAid is committed to supporting the development of talented young athletes in an open and inclusive environment, ensuring equality of opportunity through its programmes of help and recognition. Over more than 45 years, the charity has supported tens of thousands of athletes who have gone on to represent their country – either at junior or senior level – on the international stage.

SportsAid has always been firm in its belief that any athlete demonstrating the characteristics and ability required to succeed should have the opportunity to develop and fulfil their potential. The charity is actively working to increase diversity across the talent pathway, particularly through its programmes with Sport England, and provide access to those who are financially or geographically disadvantaged.

The theme of ‘Accessibility and Inclusion’ is an opportunity for partners to highlight their own work in this area during SportsAid Week. SportsAid athletes revealed in the charity’s most recent survey that accessibility and the cost of sport are the issues they care most passionately about. It will also open up discussions on the progress being made, as well as the challenges faced, in the sports sector.

The #MyMiles Challenge, which first took place during SportsAid Week 2017, will once again be at the heart of the initiative. The Challenge is inspired by SportsAid athletes, typically aged between 12 and 18, who cover around 40 miles in training every week. The Challenge encourages supporters to ‘keep them company’ by undertaking physical activity of their own to show we are right behind them.

Click here to find out more – including how to set up your own #MyMiles Challenge.