Leytonstone’s Nielsen stars in new SportsAid film

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:03 02 February 2016

Great Britain's 400m athlete Laviai Neilsen, who comes from Leytonstone (pic: SportsAid).

Great Britain's 400m athlete Laviai Neilsen, who comes from Leytonstone (pic: SportsAid).

Photograph copyright David Short/SportsAid. All rights reserved. Only released for use in direct relation to SportsAid's work -

19-year-old played her part in charity film that will be screened at the BAFTA’s this evening

Great Britain 400m athlete Laviai Nielsen from Leytonstone admits she was taken aback to star in a new SportsAid film.

The 19-year-old featured alongside Olympic and Paralympic heroes including Tom Daley, Katherine Grainger and Sarah Storey in the film.

It is set to be screened at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in London tonight (Tuesday).

Nielsen plays a leading role in the #SupportTheNext film released by SportsAid to encourage the general public and businesses across the country to show their support for the future of British sport.

You can watch SportsAid’s #SupportTheNext film by copying and pasting this link -

The short film, created and produced by Hogarth and Founded, highlights the hard work which goes on behind the scenes of a young athlete’s career – the early mornings, the late nights, the sacrifices made to train and compete, each and every day, as they look to reach the top.

Directed by Morgan Hutchins from RSA Films, the film sees Laviai, who received her SportsAid Award from the Jaguar Land Rover Academy, feature heavily throughout as she pushes herself hard in a training session at Lee Valley Athletics Centre with sister Lina.

“I was quite taken aback when I was asked to do the filming,” said Nielsen, who won gold in the 400m and 4x400m at the 2015 European Junior Athletics Championships. “It was a huge honour to be a part of the film and I hope it will inspire more young athletes.

“The film sends out the message that even though you’re young, and one of many, you can still achieve amazing things.

“I found it interesting seeing how the film was directed and produced. Experiencing the different shots that I had to do was really exciting.”

Nielsen is just one of 1200 athletes, mainly between the age of 12 and 18, from across the country who receives support from SportsAid to help cover training and competition costs, as well as providing greater recognition of their achievements.

Olympic and Paralympic legends Rebecca Adlington, Ellie Simmonds and Ade Adepitan also have major parts in the film with Daley, Grainger and Storey after they all received support from SportsAid during the critical early stages of their careers.

The film was aired at SportsAid’s annual SportsBall in November 2015 but a special screening has been arranged at the home of BAFTA where an audience of over 100 figureheads from across British sport and business will gather to see it.

The #SupportTheNext campaign is aimed at asking what will you do to support the next generation of British Olympians and Paralympians through SportsAid?

The charity runs fundraising events, offers sponsorship opportunities and hosts special charity initiatives all to help young talented athletes.

You can find out more about SportsAid’s #SupportTheNext campaign and what you can do to help support the next generation of British Olympians and Paralympians by visiting

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