In this Olympic and Paralympic year, talented young athletes and sportspeople have a golden opportunity to take their careers to the next level with the Everyone Active Sporting Champions Scheme.
Now in its eighth year, more than 5,000 athletes have benefitted from over £2 million since the scheme’s inception in 2016. The programme empowers athletes to unlock their full potential by offering access to state-of-the-art training facilities – through free access to our 230-plus nationwide leisure centres – and mentoring from iconic current and former Olympians and Paralympians.
Applications for the 2024 intake open on 12th February and remain open until 11th March.
Over the course of 2023 and the beginning of 2024, the scheme has continued to support the next generation of stars. These include 14-year-old swimmer Jaden Leo – gold medallist in his age category at the Swim England Championships, as well as gymnast Ondine Achampong, part of Team Great Britian’s first team gold medal at a European Championships. There was also swimmer Hollie Widdows, who won three gold, three silver and one bronze medal at British Summer Swimming Championships 2023 and Paralympic triathlete, Claire Cashmore, who placed 2nd in the women’s PTS5 category at the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Finals.
For 2024, the legendary Colin Jackson, Olympic 110m hurdles silver medallist and former world record holder, returns as the scheme’s Ambassador.
He will be working alongside a line-up of inspiring Elite athletes who have starred on the Olympic and Paralympic stage – Lauren Steadman, Lutalo Muhammad, Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova, Kadeena Cox, Richard Kilty Maisie Summers-Newton – in mentoring sessions throughout the year.
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.”
At Tokyo 2020, no fewer than 30 Sporting Champions competed, taking home five gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
David Bibby, Everyone Active’s Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to support up and coming athletes from across the country, as they continue their journey to success.
“As a leisure provider working in partnership with more than 65 local authority partners, we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community and break down the barriers that may impact young people from taking the next step in their sporting career.”
In the lead up to the successful Sporting Champions being announced, Everyone Active will be hosting the British Swimming Championships at London Aquatics Centre, from 2nd to 7th April 2024. Several athletes from the scheme, including Maisie Summers-Newton – Para-Swimmer of the Year and Athlete of Year at the British Swimming Awards 2023 – will be competing at the iconic venue, managed by Everyone Active from March 2024.