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TV presenter, JJ Chalmers, launches hunt for Wales’ game changers

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As part of the National Lottery’s 30th Birthday celebrations, former Royal Marine Commando and broadcaster, JJ Chalmers, has launched the search to find 30 people who have done extraordinary things over the last 30 years with the help of The National Lottery.

Throughout the UK, there are thousands of people who have used National Lottery good causes funding to bring profound change, inspiration, and joy to millions.

Since the first National Lottery draw was held on 19 November 1994, more than £2.3 billion has been awarded for good causes in Wales through 71,733 individual grants, making a huge difference to arts, heritage, sport and community organisations and projects in the area.

Sports clubs and projects across Wales have been given £377m across 29 years, thanks to players of the National Lottery. £6,177,013 of that total was awarded by Sport Wales through the Be Active Wales Fund between April 2023 and March 2024.

Chalmers is urging the public to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of inspirational individuals throughout Wales by nominating them as a National Lottery Game Changer. 

The 37-year-old understands the importance of celebrating unsung heroes more than most. As a former Royal Marine Commando, he suffered horrific life-changing injuries whilst on active duty and has a remarkable story to tell.  A former Lance Corporal with 42 Commando in the Royal Marines, JJ was blown up by an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2011 and suffered horrendous injuries in the blast that killed two of his colleagues. Narrowly avoiding a double arm amputation, he lost two fingers, suffered face and leg injuries, and his right elbow completely disintegrated.

He has faced a harrowing battle to recover, but, against all odds, he overcame adversity to win a gold medal at the Invictus Games in 2014 and has forged a successful broadcast career, becoming the first disabled presenter to host the Olympic Games. He is a Patron for the Help for Heroes charity, an Ambassador for The Invictus Games, and travels the country giving inspirational talks and motivational workshops to schools and businesses.

JJ Chalmers holds the National Lottery Game Changer trophy
I think it’s really important that we celebrate these inspirational individuals and thank them for all that they do
JJ Chalmers

Urging people to get their National Lottery Game Changer nominations in, JJ said: “During my own recovery journey and involvement with the Invictus Games, I have encountered countless unsung heroes who work tirelessly to improve the lives of people around them.

I think it’s really important that we celebrate these inspirational individuals and thank them for all that they do. If you know somebody who has done something amazing with National Lottery funding over the last 30 years, then please take the time to nominate them as a National Lottery Game Changer.”

Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery, added: “Since it was established 30 years ago, the National Lottery has been able to strengthen local communities, power sports teams, preserve and celebrate our heritage, support environmental projects, unleash creative talent, empower the elderly, and unlock young people's potential. That’s all thanks to the players. 

“As part of our 30th Birthday celebrations we want to honour those who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in their communities with the help of National Lottery funding”. 

National Lottery Game Changers will recognise outstanding people in the following categories:

  • Sport
  • Arts
  • Community
  • Heritage

30 inspirational individuals will be celebrated in the autumn with a showstopping moment of national recognition to mark their incredible efforts. Any person who has received National Lottery funding or is part of a National Lottery funded project is eligible for nomination.

Individual winners will be chosen by a judging panel made up of members from The National Lottery family and will win an iconic National Lottery Game Changers trophy.

Is there an inspirational individual at your sports club that you feel should be recognised? Nominate them as a National Lottery Game Changer, and follow National Lottery Good Causes social channels for more information. Entries must be received by midday on 17 June 2024.

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