Local athletes announced for Olympian-led sporting talent scheme

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Up-and-coming athletes in Warwick District are set to gain much-needed support as part of a sports talent development programme.

Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme, now in its eighth year, has helped more than 5,000 athletes to achieve their sporting potential by providing free access to Everyone Active’s 230-plus leisure facilities, including Newbold Comyn Leisure Centre, Castle Farm Leisure Centre and St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre.

Among the athletes accepted on the scheme in Warwick this year are:

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  • Table tennis player Boryana Nankova, who won gold at the World Transplant Games last year
  • Powerlifter and javelin thrower Lauren Ashbourne, who was recently ranked the third best senior javelin thrower in the Midlands
Powerlifter Lauren Ashbourne joins Sporting Champions schemePowerlifter Lauren Ashbourne joins Sporting Champions scheme
Powerlifter Lauren Ashbourne joins Sporting Champions scheme

Alongside free access to Everyone Active centres, Sporting Champions will also receive valuable mentoring and guidance from an impressive panel of Elite athletes, some of whom look set to compete at Paris 2024.

The scheme’s all-star line-up of decorated Olympians and Paralympians includes Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova, Lutalo Muhammad, Richard Kilty, Lauren Steadman and Maisie Summers-Newton, while new to the panel for 2024 is GB sprint star Harry Aikines-Aryeetey*.

These Elite athletes will share their experience and expertise through group mentoring sessions, covering topics including mental wellbeing, nutrition, managing finances, social media and media training.

Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson will also continue to support the scheme through his role as an Ambassador, working alongside the Elite athletes to make sport more accessible within local communities.

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Sporting Champions ambassador, Colin JacksonSporting Champions ambassador, Colin Jackson
Sporting Champions ambassador, Colin Jackson

Colin said: "I'm passionate about nurturing young talent and the Sporting Champions scheme goes above and beyond in this mission. With the Olympics and Paralympics taking place in Paris this summer, the programme takes on even greater significance in 2024. Seeing these future champions flourish fuels my excitement for what's to come."

The Sporting Champions scheme has poured more than £2million into young athletes across the country, proving its commitment to grassroots sporting excellence.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, no fewer than 30 Sporting Champions competed, taking home five gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

Alex Fuoco-Lang, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme has been very successful in providing exceptional support to emerging talent and we are delighted to be once again supporting athletes from Warwick on their journey to success.

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Newest Elite athlete, Harry Aikines-AryeeteyNewest Elite athlete, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
Newest Elite athlete, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey

“It’s fantastic to see how the scheme has expanded over the years, now providing more than 1,000 athletes nationwide with access to top-quality training facilities and support.

“As a leisure provider working in partnership with Warwick District Council, we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community. We hope to continue making a real difference to our athletes’ success and are excited to see what the relaunch of the scheme will bring this year.”

Councillor Jim Sinnott, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Leisure at Warwick District Council added:

“The Council is proud to support this inspiring scheme, helping aspiring athletes from the local area to realise their potential by providing free access to excellent facilities close to home with the added benefits of a strong network of expertise and mentorship opportunities.”

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Newest Elite athlete, Harry Aikines-AryeeteyNewest Elite athlete, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
Newest Elite athlete, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey

To find out more about the Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme, visit www.easportingchampions.com or follow @easportingchamps on Instagram. For further information on Everyone Active, visit www.everyoneactive.com

-ENDS-