SportsAid

Purpose

SportsAid offers financial support to talented young sports people at the start of their careers and during times of financial hardship. As a charity it has been supporting aspiring athletes since 1976 and has funded past badminton stars such as Gail Emms, Nathan Robertson and Rajiv Ouseph.

Competing at national and international level means huge personal expense for young athletes and their families and SportsAid aims to help support players and parents through this.

Every year Badminton England nominates young badminton players to receive, on average, a financial contribution of around £1,000, which can be used for essential costs such as training, equipment, competition costs and travel.

For 2021-22, the nominations of athletes to SportsAid will be slightly different and is based again on a quota of nominations Badminton England has been provided by SportsAid as determined by the National Awards Committee. The quota for 2021-22, has been reduced across all sports, with Badminton now in receipt of 10 nominations. However, this is partly as a result of the following Programme launch which is being delivered in partnership by Commonwealth Games England and SportsAid – the Team England Futures (TEF) Potential Programme and the Team England Futures Preparation (further details on these additional 2 places are located on this page). 

Team England Futures (TEF) POTENTIAL Programme Nominations

For 2012-22 Awards, the SportsAid Award will be re-termed as the TEF Potential Programme which will see a cohort of young athletes provided with a unique experience and insight into a multi-sport, major Games environment and utilising a home Games as a developmental opportunity within the Talent Pathway.

Badminton, as noted above, has been provided with 10 TEF Potential Nominations and 8 TEF Potential Backing the Best Programme Nominations, to start in February 2022 and which will encompass those athletes eligible for SportsAid support.  As well as the potential to receive a financial Award (contingent on the charity’s fundraising and current levels of partner investment), players nominated onto the TEF Potential Programme will have access to a curriculum of educational content delivered virtually covering a range of subjects. In addition to that, participants will also arrive in Birmingham during Games time to experience two ticketed events facilitated by SportsAid alumni.

Eligibility Criteria for Nominees:

To be eligible to be nominated by Badminton England for the TEF Potential Programme, an athlete will be required to have met the following SportsAid criteria:

  • Nominees must be English talented sporting competitors, primarily living and training in England. They must have a British passport and/or be able to compete for England.
  • Nominees should be within the sports defined England Talent Pathway
  • Nominees should be in some form of structured education (some flexibility may apply)
  • Priority given to athletes aged between 12 and 18 years of age
  • Nominees must show the right aptitude and talent to maximise the learning opportunities that come with their involvement in TEF and be prepared to engage with the Programme throughout the course of the year

In relation to the above, nominees will also need to have met the following sport specific criteria, as agreed with SportsAid, to be considered for nomination:

  • A current Engage or Progress Junior Pathway athlete during 2021 OR have hit Pathway result criteria post the Summer 2021 Pathway reviews

In addition to the above, the nominee must have met one of the following:

  • Been selected for an U17 / U19 or Senior England representative Event during 2021 or;
  • Won a Badminton England identified International tournament during 2021 (U17, U19 or Senior)
  • Reached a minimum of the semi-finals of the 2021 Senior English National Championships

N.B In exceptional circumstances an athlete already in receipt of a TASS Award may be able to be nominated for consideration by SportsAid, who will then make the final decision. These decisions are taken by SportsAid from time to time to support athletes depending on relevant mitigating circumstances. Additionally, it is also noted that a nominated athlete may move to such support after receiving a SportsAid award (in such an event a SportsAid Award will not be reclaimed).

Application/Nomination Process

There is not a direct application process as athletes are nominated automatically by Badminton England based on the applicable sport criteria and nominations notified to SportsAid by Friday 19th November 2021. SportsAid will then directly contacting those nominated athletes by email to request completion of an online nomination form. Badminton England will finalise their nominations and those nominated will receive emails from both Badminton England and SportsAid to confirm this nomination during w/c 22nd November 2021.

The deadline for athletes to complete their online nomination is 1 December 2021, with any successful athlete awards being provided to athletes between March and June of the following year.

N.B Please note that a nomination by Badminton England to SportsAid does not guarantee an Award will be found. As always, this is contingent on the charity’s fundraising and current levels of partnership investment. All nominees, irrespective of whether they receive a financial Award from SportsAid, will participate in the TEF Programme i.e. athletes will arrive in Birmingham during Games time to experience two ticketed events as well as the provision of a workshop/personal development offer.

If you would like to find out more, please visit the SportsAid website for further information.

Backing the Best Award

Backing the Best (BTB) Awards were launched by Sport England and SportsAid in 2015 following provision of National Lottery funding, with the aim of making England talent pathways more inclusive.  The Award aims to support talented athletes who also experience financial hardship – this can be through one-off or longer-term bursary awards based on athlete circumstance. This year’s nominees will form part of the above Team England Futures Potential Programme.  For 2021-22, Badminton have received 8 Backing the Best Awards.

Eligibility Criteria for Nominees:

Nominees must meet all of the following as per SportsAid’s BTB eligibility criteria:

  1. Be currently facing severe financial hardship and not able to meet the costs of competing in their sport. Gross household income should be less than £55,000.
  2. Be English – primarily living and training in England.
  3. Have a valid British passport and eligible to compete for England
  4. Be typically aged between 12 and 18 years for non-disabled and up to 35 years for disabled athletes.
  5. Be in some form of structured education or apprenticeship programme.
  6. Not in receipt of TASS or UK Sport Funding
  7. Be on the England Junior Pathway (or have met eligible criteria this year since the 2021 Pathway Review)

For the TEF Programme, SportsAid wish NGBs to nominate athletes that show the right aptitude and talent to maximise the learning opportunities that come with their involvement in TEF and be prepared to engage with the Programme throughout the course of the year.

The athlete should also meet the following sport criteria;

  1. A current Engage or Progress Junior Pathway athlete during 2021 OR have hit Pathway result criteria post the Summer 2021 Pathway reviews and;

Should there be more applicants than places, Badminton England will consider the following when prioritising nominations:

  • Medallists at International Championship (selection) Events
  • Selected for International Championship Events
  • Consideration of International Results
  • Domestic Results
  • Age – this relates directly to the TEF Programme stipulating athletes that could be potential athletes for 2026/2030 Commonwealth Games or 2028 LA Games
  • Previous nomination/s for BTB Award

Accepted nominees by SportsAid, based on the quota made available to Badminton England (8 nominations for 2021-22), will then be directly contacted by SportsAid (via email to their parent/guardian) to request completion of athlete profile information online. Following that, athletes/parents would be asked to complete a ‘Supporting Information’ form and a basic means test will be completed to ensure the funding goes to those most in need.

N.B Please note that a submission to Badminton England / SportsAid does not guarantee an Award will be found. Athletes receiving a Backing the Best Award cannot also be in receipt of a standard SportsAid Award.

Deadline For Nominations

Nominations to be received direct from parents/guardians to Nikki Tarrant via email by 9am on 15th November 2021 at the very latest (nikkitarrant@badmintonengland.co.uk)

Badminton England will provide nominations to SportsAid by Friday 19th November, when SportsAid will directly contact athletes via email to complete their online nomination form by 1st December.

Please find information and criteria for the TEF Preparation Programme here.

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