Applications open for Olympian-led sponsorship scheme in St Albans and Redbourn

Up-and-coming athletes throughout St Albans and Redbourn are being given the chance to take their careers to the next level – in an Olympic and Paralympic year – with Everyone Active's Sporting Champions scheme.
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Relaunching this month, the renowned programme empowers aspiring athletes to unlock their full potential by offering access to state-of-the-art training facilities and mentoring support from Olympians and Paralympians.

Since its inception in 2016, the scheme has transformed the lives of more than 5,000 athletes by providing them with free access to Everyone Active's 230-plus leisure centres nationwide, helping them press forward in their journey to sporting stardom.

These include Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre, Harpenden Leisure Centre, Batchwood Golf and Sports Centre and Cotlandswick Leisure Centre in St Albans, run in partnership with St Albans City & District Council, as well as Redbourn Leisure Centre, run in partnership with Redbourn Recreation Centre & Playing Fields Trust.

The Sporting Champions Elite AthletesThe Sporting Champions Elite Athletes
The Sporting Champions Elite Athletes

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 and Maisie Summers-Newton – in group mentoring sessions throughout the year. These sporting heroes will share their wisdom and expertise, guiding up and coming athletes every step of the way.

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."

Over the past eight years, the Sporting Champions scheme has poured more than £2million into young athletes, proving its commitment to grassroots sporting excellence.

The scheme's mentoring day in November 2023The scheme's mentoring day in November 2023
The scheme's mentoring day in November 2023

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

Steve Cox, Everyone Active’s area contract manager, said: “We are delighted to support up and coming athletes from across St Albans and Redbourn on their journey to success.

“As a leisure provider working in partnership with St Albans City & District Council and Redbourn Recreation Centre & Playing Fields Trust, we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community.

“The Sporting Champions scheme has supported thousands of athletes over the years, and we are proud to be continuing this again in 2024.

“We hope to continue making a real difference to our athletes’ success and are excited to see what this Olympic year will bring.”

Jeremy Reilly, member of Redbourn Recreation Centre & Playing Fields Trust, said: “As a trust and supporter of providing sporting facilities and opportunities, we are delighted to support this great initiative by our partner, Everyone Active.”

Applications open on Monday, February 12, 2024 and run until Monday, March 11, 2024 via the Everyone Active Sporting Champions website, easportingchampions.com

Follow the Sporting Champions Instagram (@easportingchamps) for more information on how to apply.