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Unique scheme to help Westminster's rising sports stars

Date: 
Fri, 24/01/2020

Up-and-coming athletes in Westminster are being given the opportunity to receive funding from a local leisure provider as part of its athletes mentoring scheme.

Westminster City Council has teamed up with Everyone Active, London Sports Trust, and Jubilee Hall Trust to offer its Champions of the Future programme to develop and support sporting talent in the borough. The programme runs in partnership with Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme and online applications will be open from Monday 27 January to Friday 28 February.

The scheme helps local athletes to achieve their sporting potential by offering them access to high-quality training facilities, financial support and expert advice. From grassroots competitors through to Olympic medallists, it has already aided more than 400 people on their sporting journeys.

Successful athletes will be awarded with bronze, silver or gold sponsorship packages and provided with free access to Everyone Active’s centres across the country, and those on the higher tiers of the programme can also receive a sponsorship grant of up to £5,000 to help towards their training, equipment and competition costs.

Athletes on the scheme are also given exclusive opportunities to join mentoring sessions led by some of Britain’s most influential sports stars including Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson CBE. In 2019, the scheme hosted several sessions across the country which included talks from industry experts alongside Olympic and Paralympic athletes who shared their personal experiences and advice with upcoming athletes.

The sporting initiative also held several Sporting Champions Sports Days with local schools across the country encouraging young people to try different types of activity and sports. The events were held in partnership with athletes on the scheme.

Last year, the scheme launched its first Awards Ceremony to recognise athletes’ achievements throughout the year. A total of nine awards were given to athletes across regional and national categories including the Sporting Champion of the Year.

Everyone Active operates seven leisure centres, including Marshall Street Leisure Centre, Moberly Sports Centre and Paddington Recreation Ground in partnership with Westminster City Council, and is encouraging local athletes to apply for the scheme. It currently supports several athletes in Westminster, including basketball player Melita Emanuel-Carr and judoka and two-time Olympian; Ashley McKenzie OLY.

Cllr Iain Bott, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Sports, Culture and Community said: “We’re proud to support a scheme to bring through the next generation of sports stars. Champions of the Future aims to help Westminster’s talented young athletes make it to the top, so if your dream is to represent your country, win gold medals or break world records please apply.”

Duncan Jefford, director of Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme, said: “We are proud to have invested over one million pounds in helping upcoming athletes across the country to achieve their goals. As part of the scheme, athletes will benefit from mentoring sessions throughout the year that will provide them with support, advice and guidance.

“We have exciting plans for the future of the scheme, and I would encourage any athletes from Westminster that are looking not just for funding but also mentoring for their future sports career to apply for Westminster’s, Champions of the Future programme which runs in partnership with Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme.”

For more information on Champions of the Future Scheme, applicants should visit https://www.westminster.gov.uk/champions-of-the-future or www.easportingchampions.com

Last updated: 24 January 2020