Talented young riders now have the opportunity to access more than £400,000 of funding to help them achieve their Olympic or Paralympic dreams.

GLL Sport Foundation was launched in 2008 to support and develop athletes ahead of London 2012, Rio 2016 and beyond.

The foundation already supports a number of world-class athletes but now riders who demonstrate the potential to succeed at an international level are being given the opportunity to apply for grants.

GLL Sport Foundation chairman Peter Bundey said: “The rise from local talent to regional and national competition is one of the most difficult stages of an athlete’s career.

Young people need positive support and sport needs rising talent to keep Britain improving on a world stage.

“We can make a positive contribution on both agendas.”

Financial awards of up to £1,250 will support athletes training, travel and equipment costs over the next 12 months.

Successful applicants can also benefit from training awards that allow free access to more than 100 sports venues managed by not-for-profit leisure operator GLL and partners.

To be eligible for a grant you must live, be in education or affiliated to a sports club in a London or South Englandborough or district in which GLL or its partners operate.

Since 2008 the foundation has supported over 2,000 young UK athletes across 60 sports with training grants worth over £1.5 million.

They hope to help a further 1,000 young sportsmen and women during 2012.

To apply for a grant visit http://www.gllsportfoundation.org

The closing date is 20 February 2012.