Do you know of any other commercial business network that puts 50% of every membership fee into a fund to help finance the development of some of Great Britain’s most talented athletes?

That is what the SBN does.

Our Four4One membership proposition means that for every 4 new members we sign up another athlete is funded for a year, relieving the pressure on the “Bank of mum and dad”! Our primary partner in the Emerging Talent Fund is a charity called SportsAid (www.sportsaid.org.uk)  which can have up to 2,000 aspiring GB athletes on their books all looking for funding at the same time. All of these young people have been nominated by their governing bodies and all are potential champions.

Only a few will make it.

Being recognised as having the potential to be a world beater is one thing, having the dedication, commitment, passion and single mindedness to achieve this is another. Finding the money to pay for equipment, travel, medical support and a million other things is a further challenge but you won’t hear our athletes or their parents complaining. They know they have a rare talent and they are determined to maximise it.

They do need help however and that is where the SBN comes in. Simply by joining us your business will make a direct contribution to a young athlete but many of our members go further and fund their own athlete directly or they may offer their skills, contacts and resources in lieu of cash. To see the difference this can make to a young athlete is both humbling and thrilling in equal measure. When you consider that SportsAid’s alumni include world class performers like Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah and Jess Ennis-Hill you begin to appreciate the importance to our future stars of the Emerging Talent Fund.

What’s more all SBN members have the right of association with the athletes whilst they are funded by the SBN. Imagine how beneficial that could be to your business.

Find out more about our current supported Athletes:

Bobby Clay

Age: 18 Years
Sport: Athletics
Discipline: 1500m
Region: South East


How did you first get involved in your sport?
My Mum was a county runner and when my sister and I were really young we always went running with her, which inspired me to get involved with my local club.

What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?
Being able to do something I love so much.

Who is your sporting hero?
My sister, she is 20 and also a member of the GB athletics and cross country team. We train together and do everything together, she works so hard and is extremely self-disciplined. I am so lucky to have such an amazing sister and best friend, Alex truly is my inspiration.

What does a typical week look like for you?

  • Monday- 1hr easy run.
  • Tuesday- track session (endurance based).
  • Wednesday- gym session, 1hr easy jog.
  • Thursday- track session (speed based).
  • Friday- rest day.
  • Saturday- grass session (usually a tempo run) and gym session.
  • Sunday- long easy run about 60-90mins.

How will your Emerging Talent Fund Sport Award help you?
My Emerging Talent Fund Award from the Sport Business Network is so helpful, to be able to have this support and allow me to continue to reach my potential and full capabilities. I am going to use this grant to finance my travel and accommodation for preparation races and the World Trial. These races are all round the Country, so this grant is very much appreciated. Plus maybe I'll be able to buy a bag of pick n mix as well!

What do you do in your free time?
I love to ride my pony and care for my other animals. This keeps me very busy when I am not running as I have horses, pigs, goats, cows, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs and a cat!

Anything else we should know about you?
I love to write poetry. Sometimes when I'm in bed I just wake up with the start of a poem in my head and have to quickly write it down.

Aims

  • To run the qualifying standard required for the World Juniors Championships.
  • Improve all my track personal best times.
  • My ultimate goal is to be an Olympian and so in order to achieve this goal I strive to become the best athlete I possibly can be.
  • Compete in the World Championships in 2017. 

Abi Fitzpatrick

Age: 20 Years
Sport: Athletics
Discipline: 400m Hurdles
Region: North West

How did you first get involved in your sport?
My school sports day in year 11.

What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?
Getting to travel the world competing and meeting new people and wearing the Great Britain kit with pride.

Who is your sporting hero?
Kelly Holmes, she has been through a lot and overcome many obstacles proving that if you practise and practise you really will prevail. She also proves that age is no barrier winning in the Olympics at 32 years old.

What does a typical week look like for you?
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday I have gym sessions. Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I have track and hurdle sessions, Tuesday and Fridays are my rest days however I’m at university.

How has your Emerging Talent Fund Award helped you?
My SBN Emerging Talent Fund Award from Verteda has been a massive help with the costs towards warm weather training which is helping me prepare for a great outdoor season, it’s also contributed towards training fees and petrol costs to get me to training and competitions across the country.

What do you do in your free time?
In my free time I like to chill out, or take trips to the Trafford Centre.

Key achievements
2010, European Youth Olympic trials, U20, 400m hurdles, 8th in final, 62.39. 2010, Youth Olympic Games final, U20, 400m hurdles, 7th in final, 65.61.

Aims

  • Remain number 1 in the UK.
  • Qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
  • Remain injury free.
  • Improve my World and European ranking.
  • Represent GB in the 2016 Olympic Games and medal. 

Joe Fry

Age: 16
From: Potters Bar - Hertfordshire
Sport: Cycling


How did you first get involved in your sport?
My brother raced so I went along and tried it at my local track at Welwyn.

What does a typical week look like for you?
I am at school full time so have to fit my training in at the weekends and in the evenings. I train on the bike 6 days a week and work on my core strength on my day off. I typically do 10 hours training over the week in the winter and in the spring and summer race on Tuesday night and either Saturday or Sunday, sometimes both.

What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?
Travelling all over Europe and Britain to race and having friends all over the country and the world.

What are your targets for the next 12 months?
To win the Assen International Youth Tour and to become national champion in my cycling disiplines.

What are your long term aims?
I want to win Olympic medals and senior national and international titles and become a professional cyclist for a pro tour team.

Who is your sporting hero?
Fabian Cancellara. Because he is such a powerful rider and he rides like I try to ride - breaking away to win alone.

How will yourEmerging Talent Fund award help you?
It will enable me to continue to compete at international and national level by helping me to pay for travelling and accommodation and also with equipment. It is very unlikely that I would be able to do all the competitions without the grant. 

Lauren Grinstead

Age: 19 Years
Sport: Diving
Region: South West


How did you first get involved in your sport?
I was originally a gymnast from the age of 5 - 10. From then my parents kept trying to get me involved in diving, but as I am afraid of heights and a very weak swimmer, I was reluctant to do so. I tried a variety of sports and eventually decided to try diving when I was 14 in August 2008 after watching a program called Olympic Dreams, where it followed Tom Daley on his journey to the olympics. It showed the struggles he went through when he first started diving, and he explained that he too was at first afraid of heights, but overcame that fear. This gave me the confidence to give diving a try.

What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?
I enjoy knowing that I can do something at a high level that most other people would never be able to do.

Who is your sporting hero?
Beth Tweddle, as I grew up watching her at competitions and aspiring to be her. She is a wonderful role model and has achieved amazing things in gymnastics.

What does a typical week look like for you?

  • Monday is my rest day.
  • Tuesdays, I have a training session in the morning, followed by a two hour diving session and coaching in the evening.
  • Wednesday, I have a two hour morning training session and a two hour afternoon training session followed again by coaching in the evening.
  • Thursday, I train between 2:00pm and 4:00pm and coach again in the evening.
  • Friday, I train for two hours in the morning followed by an hour and a half weights training session. Saturday, I coach during the morning until I start diving at 2:00pm for two hours.
  • Sunday, I train from 11:30am to 3:00pm followed by a coaching session.

How will your Emerging Talent Fund Award help you?
My Emerging Talent Fund Award from the Sport Business Network has enabled me to get regular sports massage and physiotherapy I need since suffering from injury. It has also been really helpful in contributing to the high travel costs to get me to national events that are held across the country.

What do you do in your free time?
I love cooking and baking and spend most of my free time cooking for friends and family. I also love reading and do this whenever I can.

Key achievements
2010,National Age Groups, 16-18, 1m/3m springboard diving,1st, 251.6 and 282.75, Junior Elite Nationals, 16-18yrs, Platform diving, 3rd, 306.9.

Aims
earn 2 new dives. A back 3.5 somersaults tucked and back armstand double somersault 2.5 twists. This will hopefully make me the first women in Britain to learn this back armstand. My long term aims are to achieve senior international selection each year and eventually make it to the Commonwealth or Olympic Games. 

Vicky Widdup

Age: 27 Years
Sport: Sitting Volleyball
Region: London

How did you first get involved in your sport?
I first got involved in sitting volleyball when I moved to London. I was just starting to overcome my initial accident (Vicky suffered a serious motorbike accident at 19 and was told she may never walk again), and wanted to get back into sport as soon as I could. I needed something that I could do with my difficulties, as previously I had always played abled bodied sport. I went along to try volleyball and as I was unable to jump or run so the coach suggested sitting volleyball. I have loved it ever since!

What do you enjoy the most about being a sportsperson?
Playing sport and being part of a team.

What does a typical week look like for you?
I try to get between two and five gym session in each week. I also have weekly training with my local club and most weekends I’m training with GB or competing in national league competitions. This is all balanced around a job and full time university study.

How will your Emerging Talent Fund Award help you?
My Emerging Talent Fund Award from the Sport Business Network has helped me in many aspects of my sport, the main one being funding my travel expenses to get me to and from training and competitions.

What do you do in your free time?
Free time? I’m not sure I have any with studying, training and working. When I do, I like to go to gigs, read, watch films, and I love cooking.

Aims
Compete in the World Championships next summer in Poland. Represent Team GB in Rio at the 2016 Paralympic Games.