Humanity, destiny and equity. These core values are embedded within the Commonwealth Games and drive its ethos of promoting diversity and inclusion.

The same can be said of SportsAid, a national charity that annually helps over 1,000 young British athletes as they endeavour to reach the pinnacle of their sports.

The costs of training and competing in sports is a significant barrier to success for many aspiring young athletes. SportsAid plugs this funding gap to provide UK athletes with the right help at the right time by working with the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports.

“SportsAid is often the first hand to reach across that gap to say they believe in you. The confidence that SportsAid gives in people's futures, and extra support and recognition, makes a huge difference to young people's lives at that point in their career," says five-time Olympic medallist, Chair of UK Sport and SportsAid beneficiary, Dame Katherine Grainger.

From Sir Mo Farah to Ellie Simmons OBE, SportsAid continues to be a critical resource and talent pathway that enables young British athletes with aspirations of sporting glory to realise their dreams.

Since 2014, RBC Capital Markets and RBC Wealth Management have partnered with SportsAid to offer financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities to 50 young people who represent the future of British sport. As of Aug. 2022, over £315,000 has been raised by RBC staff in the British Isles through fundraising efforts.

And the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was one to remember for Team RBC alumni. Of the 21 athletes selected to compete, including three current members of Team RBC, 11 achieved podium finishes.

SportsAid's legacy of supporting success was seen across the Commonwealth podiums too, 186 times to be precise. The charity's beneficiaries won an incredible 186 medals across 20 sports to contribute 68 percent of home nations' podium finishes. Of the athletes competing at Birmingham 2022, a staggering 474 have received backing from SportsAid at some point in their careers.

Few could be as jubilant as Chris Murray (pictured above), who secured gold for England in the men's 81kg weightlifting. An alumni of Team RBC and SportsAid in 2017 and 2018, Murray says “I came off that platform just so happy with how I performed, I was just so overwhelmed. I went back, hugged my coaches and the team coach, who is also my personal coach at Loughborough. And then yeah, I went to the back room and just broke down, it was just so overwhelming."

For many, Birmingham 2022 was a games like no other. Thanks to SportsAid's ground-breaking Team England Futures programme, over 800 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff were given a unique, behind-the-scenes experience.

“This was the first time a programme of this size has taken place at a Commonwealth Games," says Tim Lawler, chief executive of SportsAid. “The programme is designed to better prepare athletes to deliver medal-winning performances as Team England, Team GB or Paralympics GB debutants at future Commonwealth and Olympic Games. It gives them a greater understanding of being part of a diverse, multi-sport team and its values – including the impact of able-bodied and para athletes competing together."

Photo of KTeam England Futures athletes

For Team England Futures athlete and T12 1500m runner, Jade Smith, “The experience was amazing. For someone who is used to the track, having the opportunity to experience different disciplines like gymnastics and hockey was incredible. It gave me a great insight into the team dynamics and logistics of a major competition." The programme also gave athletes' support staff important exposure of the opportunities they could be presented with, and challenges they may face, at large scale events.

Celebrating diversity while promoting sport for development is a key objective for the Commonwealth Games, SportsAid and RBC alike. So too for Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who had the opportunity to see the Team England Futures programme in action.

The Duchess has been a patron of SportsAid since 2013 and the pair spent time with the programme's participants and several of the charity's alumni. They were given an insight into the help they've received and the range of educational workshops they've undertaken through the programme, such as mentoring, mental readiness, nutrition and sleep management.

“It was a privilege for us to have SportsAid's Patron, The Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Cambridge join us, and Princess Charlotte too!" says Lawler. “It's a wonderful spotlight for us. Our work is constant every year, whether there is a Games at home, a Games away or no Games at all. The key thing for SportsAid in terms of support is that they genuinely want to help the cause. They are interested in sport, they are very, very keen to help young people and they recognise the role they can play in making a difference to that particular cause or purpose. We couldn't imagine a more effective patron who is well-informed, really committed, very, very curious and understands her role in helping us – so she's part of our team really!"

The Commonwealth Games is often viewed as a gateway to podium performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. If Birmingham 2022 was anything to go by, the 2024 Paris Olympics looks extremely promising for Team RBC and SportsAid.

Find out more about RBC's support for amateur and professional athletes.