Athletes training at Harborough Leisure Centre to be supported by Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme

Silver medallist and Sporting Champions ambassador Colin Jackson.Silver medallist and Sporting Champions ambassador Colin Jackson.
Silver medallist and Sporting Champions ambassador Colin Jackson.
Up-and-coming athletes in Leicestershire 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 by providing free access to Everyone Active’s leisure facilities, including Harborough Leisure Centre and Lutterworth Sports Centre – run in partnership with the district council.

And, this year, Harriet Evans – 2023-24 East Midlands Cyclo-Cross Championship winner – who trains at Harborough Leisure Centre, will be among those with free access.

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Champions will also receive mentoring and guidance from a panel of Elite athletes, some of who will 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.

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

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Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson will also continue to support the scheme for accessible sport through his role as an ambassador.

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.

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Cllr Jim Knight, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for Wellbeing, said: “We’re pleased that promising young athletes can access this proactive scheme and draw on valuable mentoring and guidance from successful national sporting champions. To have this support available locally is wonderful both for emerging talent and as inspiration for other young people.”

To find out more about the Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme, visit or follow @easportingchamps on Instagram.

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