"The National Lottery funding really helped us to progress to allow us to achieve what we have today."
Jake Jarman praised The National Lottery for enabling him to travel the length and breadth of the country in pursuit of his sporting dreams.
Peterborough’s Jarman may be a household name after bagging four golds at the Commonwealth Games last summer, but much of his junior career was spent on the road travelling to a variety of less glamorous competitions.
The 21-year-old still spends much of his time travelling, flitting between home and the British Gymnastics base in Lilleshall, and The National Lottery’s support has helped make those journeys more affordable.
“They’ve played a huge role in aiding my success. The funding has helped me pay for travel expenses and day to day life,” said Jarman, who is one of over 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing him to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering medical support – this is vital for his pathway to the Paris 2024 Games.
“I go to Lilleshall every other week so it can be a lot of driving.
“Even to my club in Huntingdon it’s a 30-to-40-minute drive from Peterborough, so the support really does help me to have the best possible preparation.
“I’m driving a lot and it's expensive with petrol and having to insure a car, as I’m still young. Without The National Lottery support, I’d probably still be struggling a little bit.”
The gym in Lilleshall is a National Lottery-funded facility and is adorned with posters of those who preceded Jarman, including Olympic medallists Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle.
Jarman hopes he can follow in their footsteps at Paris 2024 and thereby repay National Lottery players for their continued support.
“As a sport, the funding really helped us to progress to allow us to achieve what we have today,” said Jarman.
“It’s helped us to have a world-class facility where we can train and prepare for the big international games and bring home World and Olympic medals, as well as hopefully allowing the next generation of athletes to achieve their dreams.
“Every time a ticket is bought it helps people like me pursue our dreams and to build a community. A lot of what sport sets out to do is to bring people together and help people live happily, and National Lottery players make that possible.
“If I were to win The National Lottery, I would like to think that I would give something back to the community because that’s what I would have wanted.”
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