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GLL

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Daryll Neita, GLL Athlete who secured a bronze in the women’s 100m and a silver in the 4x4 100m relay at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games
About us
We’re sport, leisure and culture’s leading staff-owned charitable social enterprise founded on our purpose and values to provide a different, fairer and better way of doing business. Our purpose is to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of local communities.

As the UK’s leading provider of both leisure centres and libraries we operate over 360 locations, all helping to make a real difference to local communities and local people.

Every penny that GLL makes is reinvested back into the business to support our social purpose.

Product range and services
Operating across leisure, health, libraries and sports development, GLL works with partners, stakeholders and customers to build active and sustainable communities and provide accessible facilities for all.

We believe in offering value-for-money and creating truly inclusive, affordable and accessible spaces. Our services are wide-ranging and offer current and potential partners a range of solutions and options for modernised service delivery, value for money and tangible added value.

USPs
The largest charitable leisure social enterprise in the UK, GLL is the UK’s largest provider of public pools school swimming lessons, tennis courts, and public libraries.

We operate the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme – The GLL Sport Foundation – which has helped over 26,000 athletes on their sporting journey since 2008, resulting in dozens of medals at international competition including Commonwealth Games, Olympics and Paralympics.

We are listed as a recommended provider of gyms by the leading consumer magazine ‘Which?’. Additionally, our recent Gold Investor in People Award and accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation recognise our positive commitment to fair treatment of our employees.

We are rooted in local communities, at the heart of health and wellbeing, producing impressive amounts of social value – across a range of measures, from physical and mental health, to subjective wellbeing and individual and community development.

GLL video gallery:
Plans for the next 12 months
Our 2025 strategies and roadmap are already well-shaped and are based on our Five-Year Plan, which was launched last year.

With our positive performance and improved social outcomes during 2024, GLL is well placed to be at the forefront of societal, economic and environmental change.

The future will see us focusing on excellent customer service alongside our social enterprise values and growing our social impact, while effective partnerships with national health and wellbeing agencies will support individual lifestyle and wellness outcomes.

We’re delighted to see strong data indicators that show engagement with a diversity of age, demography and levels of activity across our facilities.

To foster community strength, health and mental wellbeing, we’ll balance the provision of health, fitness, team sport and social activities across a 50/50 split of male/female users, backed by an enhanced digital customer focus.
Key personnel
Peter Bundey, chief executive
Key customers
Companies we work with include Annodata, Physical Company, Technogym, Change Please and Divine Chocolate.

Local Authorities and Agencies we work with include Greenwich Council, Belfast City Council, Cardiff City Council, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, LLDC, ukactive, SportsAid, SportsAid Wales, Mary Peters Trust, Swim England and Sport England.
Testimonial
“We made the decision to begin supporting the GLL Sport Foundation in 2015, and it is a pleasure to announce the renewal of our sponsorship with this incredible institution.

"Many bright and talented athletes throughout the United Kingdom are unable to chase their dreams of sporting glory due to lack of funding. We are passionate about helping GSF give equal opportunities to all young people and achieving their dreams of competing on the international stage.

"Our partnership enables both our brands to share the success of the UK’s most aspiring athletes who we are proud to have heard speak in such an inspirational way at our internal Sales Conferences and who have supported our marketing and brand development goals through representation and storytelling both in person and via social media”.
– Rod Tonna-Barthet, chief executive, Annodata
"I am so thankful for the support I have received from GLL Sport Foundation. My first individual medal ever is extremely special, and I would not be here if it wasn’t for the support, I have received from the GLL ‘family’.”
– Daryll Neita, Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze and silver medalist, GLL Athlete
"This exciting new chapter cements the future of our six key sports venues and is part of our commitment to the many communities we serve far and wide. We have carefully structured this partnership with GLL to ensure that visitors will continue to enjoy the very best in these stellar, highly popular venues. We look forward to together creating exciting new programmes and activities that draw on the strengths of both organisations.

“These venues are part of the Lee Valley visitor experience and will continue to be so with some of the best facilities and most inspiring settings to be found anywhere. As part of the partnership Lee Valley Regional Park Authority will continue to invest to ensure that they go from strength to strength, delivering real impact for communities.”
– Shaun Dawson chief executive, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
updates & press releases
16 Jul 2024
94 GLL Sport Foundation athletes set to shine at Paris 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games
As the world gears up for the much-anticipated Paris 2024 Summer Olympic (26 July – 11 August) and Paralympic Games (28 August – 8 September), the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF) celebrates an impressive milestone.

A remarkable cohort of 94 athletes, both past and present beneficiaries of the Foundation's support, have qualified to compete on the world stage. This achievement underscores the Foundation's pivotal role in nurturing sporting talent and supporting athletes in reaching the pinnacle of their careers.

GSF is the brainchild of GLL – the largest charitable social enterprise leisure trust in the UK, celebrating 30 years in 2023. It is the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK.

Since its inception in 2008, the GLL Sport Foundation has been committed to fostering athletic talent across the UK. By providing financial aid, access to training facilities, and comprehensive support services, the Foundation has distributed over 25,000 athlete awards to the value of over £15m to help athletes to pursue their dreams.

During the cost of living crisis, the Foundation has made the critical difference for many young athletes who struggle to maintain their training programmes. The majority of GSF athletes are under 21 years old and 87% receive no other form of funding.

GSF’s Paris bound athletes will compete in 23 sports spanning a wide range of disciplines, including swimming, athletics, boxing, diving, and more, these athletes have showcased their prowess in national and international competitions, earning their spots to represent their national team at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Among these athletes are household names who have previously made their mark on the global stage, as well as emerging talents poised to become the next generation of sporting icons. Daryll Neita, Aidan and Michaela Walsh, Joe Clarke, Kimberley Woods and Tom Daley all hold GSF National Ambassador status.

GSF-supported 17-year-old Welsh table tennis prodigy Anna Hursey and 1500m runner Georgia Bell are emerging talents to look out for at the Paris Games.

Peter Bundey, CEO of GLL and Chair of the GLL Sport Foundation said: “We could not be more proud of our 94 Paris-bound athletes whose dedication, perseverance, and excellence has powered them through to the very top of elite competition.

“When we set the GLL Sport Foundation up it was in response to a lack of support for athletes aiming to realise their sporting dreams. Now, more than ever, we are seeing the enduring need for ongoing access to training, financial aid and wellbeing support – making the crucial difference to young talented athletes being able to stay in competition.

“We wish them the very best of luck and look forward to seeing them back home with their medals.”
GSF-supported 17-year-old Welsh table tennis prodigy Anna Hursey Credit: GLL
10 Jul 2024
London Youth Games concludes at Copper Box Arena
After an incredibly competitive season, the London Youth Games Finals Festival took place at the end of last month at GLL's Copper Box Arena in London.

In the weeks leading up to this, young Londoners from right across the capital had met and competed at the city's most iconic sports venues including Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre and Lee Valley VeloPark, the London Aquatics Centre and CBA itself.

In this Olympic and Paralympic year, the LYG Finals Festival celebrated sport, culture and community and marked the conclusion of over fifty qualifying events across more than thirty sports.

London Youth Games Chair, Prof Geoff Thompson MBE FRSA DL QP JM, emphasized the holistic benefits of the Games stating, “The London Youth Games Finals Festival in this Olympic and Paralympic year provided a distinct opportunity for families, friends, coaches, officials, volunteers, and organizations to work together and be part of something special in the lives of young people and communities.

"The Jubilee Trophy is a reflection of a year-round exposure of sport for development and peace. The mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being benefits were evident as the teams went through the final rounds.”

David, Southwark basketball player said, “It means a lot to a lot of young people to compete in an Olympic venue like this. When we were told we were playing at the Copper Box, I was shocked, I was like 'The real Copper Box?!? This is obviously where the London Lions play and it hosted the Olympics back in 2012, so it’s amazing to play where they were.”

Congratulations to all those who took part, and especially the big winners, Bromley, who came away with the coveted Jubilee Trophy, while Wandsworth won the ParaGames Trophy, recognising their outstanding performances across an incredible calendar of sporting events.

To find out more about the London Youth Games and the wider results from the 2024 Finals Festival, click here
The London Youth Games Finals Festival took place at GLL's Copper Box Arena in London Credit: GLL
19 Jun 2024
Britain at the bottom of the class when it comes to school swimming
New research highlights the importance of children’s swimming lessons as more primary schools reduce mandatory lessons.


• Britons see swimming as more important to learn than cooking, cleaning, DIY, first aid, and learning to ride a bike.

• 1 in 5 state that swimming was the most important thing they learnt in school, with just Maths and English ranking higher.

• 7 in 10 Brits worry for their children’s safety when swimming abroad.

• Over half of Brits say the cost of lessons is the biggest barrier to swimming participation.

New research from leisure operator Better, reveals that the UK population values swimming more than cooking, cleaning and DIY when it comes to essential life skills. This finding comes on the heels of a Sport England and Active Lives report indicating that over a third of primary school teachers provided fewer than 10 swimming lessons per pupil during the academic year 2022-23. Consequently, the proportion of children able to swim 25m by year 7 in 2022/23 has dropped by 6% compared to 2017/18. 

To investigate the state of swimming in the UK, Better surveyed 2,000 respondents to gauge public perceptions and experiences. The research highlights the important role swimming had on Britons’ school experience, as 1 in 5 people found swimming more useful in their adult life than most other subjects like science (17%), computing (15%), and even sex education (8%). 

Parents, in particular, recognise the importance of swimming, especially when planning family holidays that involve young children near water. The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) reported 35 children died unnecessarily from accidental drowning in 2023, a huge 46% increase over the previous 5 years. Better’s study found that 71% of parents feared their children might drown abroad. The fear of a child getting lost in a foreign was “very concerning” to 36% of parents, yet a higher percentage (42%) were “very concerned” about the risk of drowning."

In everyday life, parents also believe swimming is among the most important life skills, with 56% asserting swimming as the most important, beating cooking, cleaning, DIY, time management, learning to ride a bike, and even first aid. Only budgeting and time management rank higher. 

Despite the clear importance of swimming, there are still many barriers to getting children to learn how to swim, including socioeconomic factors. Shockingly, the Sport England Active Lives 2020-2022 survey reported that 62.5% of children from low-income families claimed to be able to self-rescue by year 7, compared to 92.2% of children from high-income families, highlighting a significant disparity. This accessibility issue is further highlighted by Better’s research, showing how the availability of public transport (26%), the cost of pool access (58%) and the time it takes to get to the pool (28%) can all prevent children from being able to learn how to swim. 

Better’s survey highlighted the cost of lessons as the biggest barrier to participation in swimming. This is also a result of the significant increase in electricity costs to local pools, causing them to increase costs. In fact, a previous study by Better stated that 1 in 5 Brits were struggling to access their pools due to reduced hours or their pools closing altogether, despite half of Brits stating that swimming improved their mental health.

Andrew Clarke, Better’s Head of Sports and Aquatics, said: “Teaching children to swim not only equips them with the ability to enjoy and participate in various water activities safely but also significantly reduces the risk of drowning, which is a leading cause of accidental death among young children.

"By learning to swim, children gain confidence, improve their physical fitness, and develop a respect for water safety that can prevent tragic accidents. Ensuring that all children have access to swimming lessons is an investment in their safety and well-being, empowering them with a vital skill that can save lives.”
Better surveyed 2,000 respondents to gauge public perceptions and experiences of swimming Credit: GLL
17 Jun 2024
London's first ever LGBTQ+ Sports Festival a resounding success
More than 500 visitors took part in a host of sports and leisure activities on Sunday (16th June) as part of London Pride’s inaugural 2024 Out for Sport Festival at the iconic Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

The event, which was the first of its kind to take place in the capital, was established with the aim of breaking down barriers to sports participation.

Approximately 20 LGBTQ+ inclusive sports clubs, representing a wide range of sporting disciplines and drawn from across London, offered free taster sessions throughout the day. Visitors had the opportunity to try their hand at everything from Rugby and Boxing to Line Dancing, Tennis and Jujitsu.

The focus of the Festival was inclusivity, with activities suitable for anyone regardless of their sporting experience or fitness levels. It is hoped that it will serve to increase LGBTQ+ community involvement in sport by raising awareness and providing support.

Event organiser David Lionetti commented: “We had a fantastic turnout on Sunday, with more than 500 visitors enjoying the opportunity to try a different sports, make new friends and experience the mental and physical benefits that sport and physical activities can offer.

“Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, the home of many national and international sporting championships provided an inspiring backdrop and we’re grateful to Better, the charitable social enterprise that operates the centre, for its support.

“This is the first year of what we hope will become a London institution and we look forward to a bigger and better event in 2025.”
Approximately 20 LGBTQ+ inclusive sports clubs offered free taster sessions throughout the day Credit: GLL
10 Jun 2024
Better’s Rainbow Leisure Centre in Epsom branded 'Top Quality' by QUEST
Better’s Rainbow Leisure Centre in Epsom has maintained its ‘Excellent’ status from QUEST – the Quality Scheme for Sport and Leisure.This follows a mystery visit from the organisation in April plus a planned audit in May.

Rainbow’s facilities include two pools – full-size and teaching – a sports hall, 100+ station gym, soft play area, spa and a senior activity room.

The centre has approximately 70 members of staff (full and part-time) and around 3,000 members who are mainly families or adults over the age of 66.

QUEST’s report commented on the centre’s excellent, well-maintained facilities and its extremely warm, friendly and welcoming staff.

Emily Simmons, General Manager, comments: “I am immensely proud of the centre and our team. Achieving QUEST Excellent status is no easy task and staff consistently work hard to maintain the high standards they set themselves.

“QUEST is a fantastic tool for evaluating best practice and customer service levels. It sets the standard for leisure centre management and sports development, taking into account programming, facilities, management policies and procedures, staff training and development, and environmental impact. This award means both customers and staff are getting the highest level of service, care and support.”

Head of Service in the area Steve Hannen adds: “A huge well done! It’s a great achievement for Rainbow to maintain Excellent status. This is not an easy thing to do and the entire centre team should be proud.”

Councillor Clive Woodbridge, Chair of the Community & Wellbeing Committee, Epsom & Ewell Council said: “Rainbow Leisure Centre’s most recent ‘Excellent’ status from QUEST is fantastic news for our residents in Epsom & Ewell. Our vision is that Epsom & Ewell is a borough where everyone in our community can live healthily and focus on wellbeing. Rainbow Leisure Centre is an integral part of that vision, and this is a testament to their great work.”
Rainbow Leisure Centre in Epsom ia managed by Better Credit: GLL
31 May 2024
Olympic Legacy Operators GLL Proud to Fly the Flag for UK Netball
Great news for GLL’s successful association with the UK’s Professional Netball scene came this week with the announcement that England Netball and Netball Superleague (NSL) stars London Pulse – who are based at Copper Box Arena (CBA) - will be one of eight clubs participating in the relaunched League from 2025.
 
All-conquering London Pulse have called CBA their ‘world class home base’ since 2019, scaling the heights of success in the sport as it has grown in stature across the capital and the UK.  Many players go on to represent England at international level. 
 
The announcement means that the NSL’s games will be played at arena venues up and down the country – including CBA – delighting fans whose numbers have exceeded 3,500 for a single match for the first time this season.
 
Stuart Hutchison, General Manager at CBA said: “This announcement is fantastic news for GLL and London Pulse - together, we have formed a successful partnership over the last few years to bring professional netball to a growing fanbase in world class facilities. 
 
“We’ve also engaged local communities in London with the sport – providing a pathway for future talent.”
 
“We can’t wait to welcome the team and the fans back at Copper Box Arena in the new season – and wish them every success”.
 
Sam Bird, CEO of London Pulse, believes the club - with its playing venue in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - are in a perfect position to take advantage of this great news. “We are very proud to be a key club in the professional NSL, we recognise this is an amazing opportunity to inspire Londoners to watch and play netball and a responsibility to do all we can to bring success to our sport”.
NSL stars London Pulse retain Copper Box Arena as their world class home base
Credit: GLL
GLL
Address: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London, SE18 6SX, UK
Peter Bundey, chief executive
GLL video gallery:
Key personnel
Peter Bundey, chief executive
Key customers
Companies we work with include Annodata, Physical Company, Technogym, Change Please and Divine Chocolate.

Local Authorities and Agencies we work with include Greenwich Council, Belfast City Council, Cardiff City Council, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, LLDC, ukactive, SportsAid, SportsAid Wales, Mary Peters Trust, Swim England and Sport England.