Press Centre

Asda gives kids a sporting chance

ASDA CEO Andy Bond joins forces today with Olympic and Paralympic legends Roger Black and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE to unveil ASDA’s Sporting Chance – the retailer’s long term commitment to grass-roots sports in the UK. This new initiative will:

  • Give hundreds of thousands of youngsters access to free sporting sessions in school holidays for the next five years
  • Provide an investment of more than £2 million to the UK’s top emerging young athletes

To coincide with the summer holidays, access to the free sessions will be available in June for Scotland and Northern Ireland children and July for the rest of the UK. The free sporting sessions will continue in school holidays until 2013.

Driven through local providers of community sport, ASDA will offer children in the UK access to a wide range of sports lessons – from squash to swimming, badminton to basketball and trampolining to table tennis.

Each session will be completely free and is designed to help families keep children both entertained and active during the holidays. All customers need to do is pick up a leaflet from any ASDA , log onto www.asda-sportingchance.co.uk to see what’s on near them, book a place and go along with the free voucher.

“ASDA Sporting Chance is all about making sports more accessible and giving thousands of kids the chance to participate in sports in their local community,” states Andy Bond, CEO and President of ASDA. “Sport has always been integral to my life and it gives me a sense of tremendous pride that ASDA is now helping to provide a wealth of sporting activity for kids in the community at no extra cost to mum.”

In addition to inspiring thousands of children to become involved in sport, ASDA is helping to sustain the next generation of talented sports men and women. Working closely with sporting charity SportsAid, over 700 young sports stars, both non-disabled and disabled , aged 12-16 years old ,with outstanding potential in their chosen sport will be selected in two phases each year from now until 2013 and provided with a £500 grant. On top of this, each ASDA store will be encouraged to support their local SportsAid athletes, helping to raise their profile and fundraise in the local community.

“There is a real need to support our future medal hopefuls from an early age”, states Tim Lawler, CEO SportsAid. “More investment is essential to ensure we continue to help talented young athletes who can represent Great Britain in the future. ASDA’s commitment is a fantastic boost to British sport.”

SportsAid award recipients Roger Black and Dame Tanni Grey Thompson DBE have come on board as Ambassadors for the ASDA Sporting Chance campaign.

“It takes a huge amount of commitment and dedication to become a successful sports person – it can also be very expensive,” states Roger Black. “The first time I was given any recognition as an athlete was by SportsAid, aged 18, who provided me with a financial award when I was starting out in 1985. Such backing was essential in helping me compete at the highest-level. ASDA’s commitment will make a real difference to the kids involved – whether it is paying for petrol to get to training sessions, or simply buying new equipment.”

Dame Tanni Grey Thompson DBE said: “When I received my first grant from SportsAid in 1992 it not only provided me with some much needed financial support but also boosted my self-belief in the knowledge that there was backing available for disabled sportspeople. As a nation we can do much more to nurture and grow our talent at a grass roots level for both non – disabled and disabled athletes – ASDA’s Sporting Chance is a great example of this.”

Posted in Press Centre on 08 May 2008