Ealing and Northfield

Supporting Olympic hopefuls

team-ealing-ambassadorsThis afternoon I recorded an interview with Sunrise radio on Ealing’s venture into sports sponsorship, called Team Ealing Ambassadors. This is a really exciting project to provide some much needed support to local Olympic hopefuls.

Having been involved in the sport of rowing at a level that was well down from the elite level I have a small idea of what it takes to be an elite athlete. Apart from all of the time and dedication layered onto innate talent it also takes a lot of cash: kit, physios, diet supplements, travel to events, travel to out of season testing, match fees, the list goes on. This programme will support a small number of elite athletes by giving them up to £10K each between now and the Olympics. Many of these people will be being supported by their parents and trying to train whilst holding down a job.

The criteria are pretty strict and the scheme is only targeted at the elite. No apologies for that.

The scheme will support athletes, within the London Borough of Ealing, who can answer “yes” to
the following criteria questions:

• Are you aged 12 upwards or are of an age, which allows you to compete at the London 2012 Games?
• Has your relevant National Governing Body of Sport at a national level identified you as a potential athlete who will compete for Great Britain in the London 2012 Games?
• Are you a current member of a national training squad or team at the date of the application?
• Do you live in the London Borough of Ealing?

The scheme is not a free ride. In return for the support the athletes will be required to undertake some ambassadorial duties to promote sport and celebrate the Borough’s sporting achievements.

For more details and an application form go to the press release and follow links here.

This is only a small scheme, offering £125K between now and the Olympics, but for a handful of elite athletes it will make all of the difference. Details in Cabinet report here.

4 replies on “Supporting Olympic hopefuls”

Money for elite sports people? I think this is a bad decision

This money should be spent to enable, provide, encourage and sustain sporting facilities for the many – not for the few.

Winning the 2010 Olympics has had a dreadful effect on grass roots sport. Money for grassroots sport dried up some two years ago.

Sport is folks running around having fun and gaining all the health benefits.

‘Ambassadorial duties’, ‘Borough’s sporting achievements’…oh dear.
We’ll be seeing you beaming and standing next to Lord Coe next!



I do wish you could perhaps read the budget book, here for future reference, and do a bit of research before you sound off.

In the current year we will be spending some £11.5 million keeping up all of our green spaces and sporting facilities. Recreation for regular people on a massive scale. The Team Ealing Ambassadors budget is £125K over three years, so about 1/3 of 1%.

Let’s keep it in perspective.

Don’t worry Coe is way to grand to be doing photocalls with me.


Your Ealing Council administration cancelled the tax rebate for Community Amateur Sports Clubs. For the larger amatuer clubs that’s cost them thousands of pounds.

Most of the public tennis courts in Ealing are either no more or no longer publicly owned or publicly run – they have been hived off to commercial for profit companies like Will to Win.

You seem to want to trumpet elitism and downplay sport for all.

Still….nobody’s perfect

Happy Holidays!



As is typical your comments are floating free of actual facts. All CASCs are entitled to a discount of 80% on their business rates.

I am not up to speed with what proportion of our tennis courts are managed by private contractors but you confuse ends with means. The Will to Win site is full of people playing tennis. Empty courts with saggy nets and broken fences are no use to anyone. I want to see people playing sport and companies like Will to Win can deliver that. So can many clubs by the way but increasingly the difference between a sports club and a private contractor is hard to spot – I know having been a member of rowing clubs since I was 18. At the core of both you will typically find a professional or semi-professional enthusiast who makes a modest living but puts in time out of all proportion to their income.


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