About us

SportsAid gives talented young sports people financial help at the start of their careers, when all their potential lies ahead of them. Our work gives sponsors a clear line of sight to the outcomes and results that their support enables.

About SportsAid Eastern

SportsAid Eastern was established in 1999 along with 8 other regional charities across England along with the home nations. We currently generate our income through sporting lunches bringing together local and national businesses keen to help young people achieve the best they can in their chosen sport. Typically we assist young people who are already on the talent pathway achieving national rankings, but do not yet qualify for National Lottery assistance and rely heavily on the bank of Mum and Dad.

We also provide opportunities to shine the spotlight on local businesses, to network amongst like-minded people, listen to guest speakers, meet the young athletes we’ve helped and to provide a clear line of sight between sponsors and the outcomes their donations enable.

Together, we support and develop the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic talent. The success of an athlete benefits not only the sport itself, but the community in which they live and the whole sporting-engaged society across the UK.

Melanie Beck MBE | Chair

Melanie is a former competitive diver who has since retiring taken up the management role of the sport she so admires. She is Chairman of the British Swimming Performance Management Board. A European representative member of the FINA Technical Diving Committee and Managing Director six legs of the FINA Diving World Series since 2007.

In 2010 she was asked to take on the role of Honorary Secretary for FINA High Diving following the integration of this disciple in to the World Federation.

In 2011 Melanie joined SportsAid Eastern Region as a Trustee, retiring in January 2022.

Melanie was appointed a Vice President of SportsAid Eastern in January 2022.

Jane Horridge | Director

Jane was appointed Director of SportsAid Eastern in January 2022. Jane has a broad background of experience across sectors and functions, having spent most of her career in the corporate sector before moving into Further Education.  She has committed time for many years to serving as a non-Executive/trustee on a number of not-for-profit and charity boards, including England Netball as part of her mission to create opportunities for young people.  Currently operating as an independent consultant, she brings an extensive network of great relationships to support the work of Sports Aid Eastern.


Mark Ormerod

Mark Ormerod | Vice President

Mark started working for the English Sports Council in 1995 and led research on the National Junior Sports Programme, developed Talent Identification systems, set up the Active Partnership Network in the East of England and worked for 3 years of Head of Strategy.

After 17 years, Mark left Sport England to become Leap’s CEO in 2012. Key to this role is interpreting national sports policy into deliverable action at a local level and removing barriers to sport and physical activity.

Mark has been a long-time supporter of SportsAid, becoming a trustee in 2014 and Chairman of SportsAid East 2017-2024. He passionately believes in the transformational power sport has to improve lives.

Adam Baker | Vice President

Adam joined SportsAid Eastern as a trustee in April 2012 after first helping the charity to establish a fundraising presence in Suffolk as far back as 2007 in his then role as Suffolk Project Manager for the London 2012 Games. Adam retired as a trustee in January 2022 and was duly elected a Vice President of the charity.

To date over £300,000 has been raised in Suffolk to support aspiring sportsmen and women through SportsAid. He currently works for Suffolk County Council as the Public Health lead for physical activity. Outside work he enjoys running, cycling and table tennis.

Adam Bradley | Trustee

Adam is a partner at Taylor Vinters and splits his time between the firm’s offices in Cambridge and London. He is a commercially-minded corporate lawyer who solves problems for clients as well as brokering opportunities between contacts for mutual benefit. He has brought his legal and business skillset to Sportsaid since 2017 when he became a trustee.

Adam is an integral part of the Cambridge SportsAid network and he is interested in most sports, although he has, at best, played any of them only ‘half-decently’.

Simon Deans | Trustee

Bio coming soon…

Phil Elmer | Trustee

Peterborough lead


Phil is Chair of the cba group of companies operating in the construction and property sectors with a strong emphasis on asbestos management and removal.

He initially played rugby in Bedford before moving to Peterborough Rugby where he played for 14 seasons. He turned to long distance running after his playing rugby playing days were over and completed numerous half and full marathons in the UK and abroad.  More recently he has turned to cycling competing in the Ride London 100 and the Tour of Cambridgeshire and can be seen most weekends on his road bike cycling with his granddaughter.

He is a former Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Past Chairman and President of Peterborough Rugby Union Football Club, Past President of East Midlands Rugby Union, former Trustee of Living Sport and current Chair of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce Construction Sector. Phil joined Peterborough SportsAid in 2006 and has been the Chair of Peterborough Sporting Lunch Club and a Trustee of SportsAid Eastern since 2016.


Steve Perry | Trustee

Steve became a trustee of the SportsAid Eastern region in 2016 having successfully operated Bucks SportsAid since its inception in 2011.

A chartered marketer and digital marketing/business development specialist by trade and former sports graduate of Bucks New University. Steve worked for the IPC as a Gamesmaker at the London 2012 Olympics and is a qualified football coach.

Sally Purbrick | Trustee

Bio will appear here soon…

Steve Robinson | Trustee

Steve is an Audit and Business Advisory Partner based at Mercer & Hole’s Milton Keynes office. He has significant experience in the Northampton and Milton Keynes market working with corporate businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Steve has a strong background of working for independent schools and academies, ranging from single schools to large education groups. Within the corporate sector, he focuses on working with owners to achieve their ambitions across a wide range of sectors including: manufacturing, property, construction, freight & logistics, retail and professional practices.

In 2016, Steve joined Mercer & Hole from Grant Thornton, where he had worked since 1986 and had been a Partner for the previous 18 years. He is a past President of both the Milton Keynes and Northampton Chamber of Commerce.

Jason Sinclair | Trustee

Jason joined in 2019 and is an experienced Executive Director and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute with over 20 years in strategic executive and operational posts, including within Corporate Business, SME’s and within Higher Education, where he was Director, Lecturer/Tutor – Employability, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

An Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Transformation Lead, with a focus on Executive D&I Strategy Development, Governance and D&I best practices in Recruitment, Attraction and Staff Development, Jason has an interest in making sure everyone gets access to opportunities and the support they need to have a positive experience which largely motivated his interest in SportsAid. Added to that his own experience as a junior athlete, lifelong interest and support of UK Athletics and interest in making sure young people are able to have experiences which enrich their career aspirations.

SportsAid’s core activity

Through the national charity SportsAid Eastern helps SportsAid support over 1,000 athletes each year – the vast majority aged 12 to 18 – by providing them with a financial award to help towards training and competition costs. This acts as a real motivational boost as it is often the first recognition they receive outside of their support network. Most of them rely heavily on their parents as they have no other funding.

These athletes are Great Britain’s brightest sporting prospects. They are nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports based on set criteria. The typical value of a SportsAid award is £1,000, with money generated through a combination of commercial partnerships, trusts, charitable funds and fundraising activities.

The charity also delivers personal development training to many athletes through workshop sessions and mentoring by Olympians, Paralympians and industry experts. Subjects range from performance lifestyle management to sports psychology, nutrition, telling your story through the media and how best to seek further sponsorship.

Young athlete

Balancing sporting and academic careers

The national charity also manages the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and Backing The Best programme on behalf of Sport England. TASS helps athletes aged 16 upwards balance their sporting and academic careers, while Backing The Best supports the most financially challenged young sports stars looking to overcome cost barriers to fulfil their potential.

Latest news

Updates on the achievements, events and stories across our region’s groups and athletes.

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