First recipients selected for George Gandy Legacy Funding

The George Gandy Legacy Fund was created to support athletes at Loughborough in the pursuit of their sport, especially those experiencing financial hardship. The first recipients of the Legacy Fund were selected in February, with five student athletes receiving grants to assist with training, travel to competitions, physio treatment and a new socket for a prosthetic blade. Each recipient is a student athlete who has faced some sort of financial limitation which would impact their performance or participation in their sport.

George Gandy was much loved and admired by many generations of the Loughborough sporting community, where he spent most of his working life devoted to athletics as the long-service Director of Athletics and Head Endurance Coach at the University. He began his journey with the University in 1971 as a member of staff and undertook an MSc degree in Human Biology, graduating in 1975. George received an Honorary Degree from the University in 2008 and was a member of academic staff in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences from 1971-2009, while simultaneously holding the role of Director of Athletics. 

He coached more than eighty international athletes, which include major championship and Olympic medallists such as Lord Sebastian Coe, Chris McGeorge, Paula Radcliffe, Jack Buckner, and Lisa Dobriskey. 

George was passionate about supporting athletes from less fortunate backgrounds who did not meet national funding criteria and spent much of his time seeking extra support for such athletes to help them reach their potential. 

Upon his passing on 8 October 2020, the George Gandy Legacy Fund was launched. Funded by alumni and friends, its purpose reflects that of George’s ethos, to support athletes with things they might be financially limited by, such as buying equipment, travelling domestically and abroad, and receiving physiotherapy and medical treatments. 

One of the recipients is Ben Pearson, a para-athlete who received a Legacy grant because he needed financial assistance to pay for a new socket for his leg. He said: 

“I’d like to say a massive thank you to the family and friends of George Gandy for providing me with the opportunity to get a new socket for my blade. 

“The sockets for me are the most important part of my blade as they are what provide my stump with the ability to be able to run. Unfortunately, the NHS does not provide blades, so all my sockets are privately funded. The sockets if they do not fit right will cause infections, sores and ingrown hairs which then have a detrimental effect on my health. 

“With the grant, I am now able to get a new socket made to be ready for the outdoor season allowing me to compete this year in a comfortable and safe socket and help me on the road to achieve the goal of making the Paralympics in 2024. Thank you.” 

We are very grateful to all who donated to the fund for their generosity and continuing support of the University and its student athletes. 

Find out more about the scholarship, how to donate, and information about the recipients.