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 2023-24, the nominations of athletes to SportsAid is based on a quota of nominations Badminton England has been provided by SportsAid as determined by the National Awards Committee. The quota badminton has received for 2023-24 is 14 nominations for the SportsAid Award and we have been invited to nominate up to 10 athletes for a Backing the Best Award.

To be eligible to be nominated by Badminton England for a standard SportsAid Award nominees will need to meet the following SportsAid criteria:

  • Nominees must be English talented sporting competitors, primarily living and training in England. They must have a UK passport and/or be able to compete for England i.e. resided in England for minimum of 3 years on applying.
  • Nominees should be within the sports defined England Talent Pathway
  • Nominees should be in some form of structured education (some flexibility may apply)
  • Priority will be given to athletes aged between 12 and 18 years of age
  • Nominees must be deemed as talented by their NGB. Typically, they will be one or both of the following; highly ranked in age group rankings and/or a member of a National Age Group team/squad

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 player
  • A current EJPP player on the Senior Development / Singles squad
  • A current Age Group National Champion from 2022 within relevant age groups
  • Selected to play for England in a Championship event in 2023

N.B Those on TASS in 2023-24 will not be considered.

In making selections of the 14 nominations, the Panel will consider the following when making their decisions:

  • Domestic results during 2023
    • Performance Trajectory
    • Consistency of results
    • Most recent results (last 6 months)

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).

There is not a direct application process as athletes are nominated automatically by Badminton England based on the above SportsAid and NGB criteria with nominations being notified to SportsAid w/c 13th November. Both BE & SportsAid will then directly contact those nominated athletes by email to notify them and to request completion of SportsAid’s online nomination form.

The deadline for athletes to complete their online nomination to SportsAid is 1st December 2023, with any successful athlete awards being provided to athletes between March and June 2024.

N.B Please note that a nomination by Badminton England to SportsAid does not guarantee a SportsAid Award will be found. As always, this is contingent on the charity’s fundraising and current levels of partnership investment.

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

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 would face difficulties progressing through their sport’s talent development system without critical financial help.  The Award is recognition of an athlete’s sporting talent and potential.  Backing the Best athletes also benefit from a yearly workshop where they are given expert advice on various areas of athlete life. For 2023-24, Badminton has the ability to nominate up to 10 athletes for a Backing the Best Award, dependent on circumstances.

The BTB Award is valid for 1 year after which the NGB can nominate the athlete again (subject to meeting criteria). A nominated athlete is typically expected to have the potential to move up through the Performance Pathway of their sport.

The value of the BTB Award is up to £5000 and it is paid in instalments in April, July, October and January. Typical the Award spend would be on things such as; essential equipment/kit, training camps, competition entry fees, transport costs to training/competitions, specialist coaching recommended by the NGB, S&C coaching, Physiotherapy, nutrition, medical expenses due to injury acquired.

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.
  2. Gross household income should be less than £55,000 (unless supporting multiple siblings and regional variations will be taken into consideration)
  3. Primarily living and training in England
  4. Be eligible to compete for England (have a UK passport or have resided in England for minimum of 3 years on application)
  5. Be typically aged between 12 and 18 years
  6. Typically be in some form of structured education or apprenticeship.
  7. Not in receipt of UKS World Class funding
  8. Athletes will be considered who are also on TASS

For nomination for a BTB Award, SportsAid guide to NGBs is to nominate athletes that will be one of the following; highly ranked in national rankings or a member of an England age group team or have significant potential to be selected.

For Badminton England to nominate an athlete for a BTB Award, we will consider and select from those athletes who meet the following:

  • A current Engage or Progress Junior Pathway player
  • A current EJPP player on the Senior Development / Singles squad
  • A current Age Group National Champion from 2022 within relevant age groups
  • Selected to play for England in a Championship event in 2023
  • Ranked top 3 in age group (U13, 15, U17, U19) at the time of criteria publication (19th October 2023)

Should there be more athletes than places available for nomination, Badminton England will consider the following when prioritising the 10 nominations:

  • Domestic results during 2023 to include consideration of the following
    • Consistency of results
    • Performance trajectory
    • Most recent results (last 6 months)
  • Previous multiple nomination/s for a BTB Award

Accepted nominees by SportsAid, based on the quota made available to Badminton England, 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.

All players meeting the above BE criteria will be emailed directly.  Should you wish to be considered for a BTB Award and meet the SportsAid eligibility criteria, your details need to be received by Nikki Tarrant via email by midday on Friday 30th October 2023 at the very latest ( with those meeting criteria considered during w/c 6th November.

Badminton England will then consider all applicants and provide up to 10 nominations to SportsAid who they will then directly contact athletes via email latest w/c 13th November to complete their online nomination form by 1st December 2023.

Timeline Once Nominated to SportsAid 

January – February 2023 – Athletes contacted by the BTB Awards Manger to gather further information about financial situation in order to assess their sustainability for an Award

March 2023 – NGBs are contacted in first week of March with the outcome of the nomination and athletes will be notified a few days later.

April 2023 – First Award instalment is paid by SportsAid to all BTB athletes.

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