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Leisure provider champions local sporting talent

Posted onPosted on 13th Aug

Up-and-coming athletes across Ashfield have been given the opportunity to gain much-needed support as part of a sports development scheme.

Now in its fourth year, Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions is providing even more talented athletes with the facilities, support and funds needed for their training and to help them reach their full potential.

A number of local athletes have recently been recruited to the scheme at Everyone Active’s Lammas Leisure Centre, Sutton, and Festival Hall Leisure Centre, Kirkby, which it manages on behalf of Ashfield District Council.

The scheme offers different tiers of support, all of which allow athletes access to Everyone Active’s 190 leisure facilities across the country, with the higher tiers also offering funding for training and competition costs.

Twenty local athletes are being supported this year. Figure skater, Callum Mills, has joined the scheme once again at silver level following an incredibly successful 2018 British Inclusive Skating Championships, where he brought home eight medals. He is joined by scheme newcomer, Joshua Walker, who has both a World and European Championship taekwondo title under his belt.

Olympic silver medallist, Colin Jackson CBE, is continuing to support the scheme through his role as an ambassador. Alongside some of Team GB’s top talent, he will play an integral part in providing both one-to-one and group mentoring opportunities to the athletes.

Colin said: “I’m proud to be involved with a scheme that is so dedicated to supporting athletic talent from grass roots up.

“I have seen this scheme continue to grow year-on-year and I think it’s so important that we continue to drive sporting excellence in our country. The Everyone Active Sporting Champions scheme has supported hundreds of talented athletes to achieve their sporting dreams and I can’t wait to see what this year’s intake go on to achieve.”

Over the past four years, Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions has invested more than £1million to help over 1000 athletes achieve success.

As well as local up and coming athletes a strong line-up of Olympic and Paralympic athletes are supported by the scheme, including gold medal-winning gymnast Max Whitlock, Team GB hockey captain Alex Danson and para-triathlete racer Jade Jones-Hall.

Everyone Active’s contract manager, Richard Chatwin, said: “We are delighted to be able to support these local sports stars on their journey to success.

“As a leisure provider working in partnership with the Council, we feel it is important to cater for all sectors of the community. The Sporting Champions scheme has already supported a huge number of athletes and I’m proud that we are continuing this again in 2019. The scheme has hit the milestone of 1,000 athletes and I hope being part of the scheme makes a real difference to the athletes.”

Cllr Tom Hollis, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Health and Leisure, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Everyone Active in this sports development scheme. It’s so important for young athletes to have access to facilities and gain the support that will help push them to be the best they can be. The many awards gained as part of the development scheme are vital to showcase how effective providing for our youth can be. We hope that Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions will continue to inspire young athletes to push themselves to succeed.

“We know the importance of encouraging sport and a healthy lifestyle to residents. As a council we are committed to providing top quality facilities. Investment in new leisure facilities, including the new leisure destination in Kirkby demonstrate this commitment.”

To find out more about the Everyone Active’s Sporting Champion’s programme, visit