A TOTAL of 51 awards have been confirmed in Hillingdon as part of the largest independent athlete support programme in the UK.

The programme is run by charitable social enterprise GLL Sport Foundation, which will draw from a £1.295m national fund comprised of financial bursaries, training and access memberships, physiotherapy and more.

Hillingdon sports heroes who will benefit from the awards this year include Olympics weightlifter Jessica Gordon Brown, freestyle swimmer Jemima Hall,  heptathlete Holly Mills and marathon runner Mahamed Mahamed.

The majority of GSF athletes are under 21 and 87% of them receive no other form of funding.

GLL operates more than 240 leisure centres, 120 libraries and 15 children's centres in partnership with 58 councils and institutions.