Applications for Olympian-led sponsorship scheme in Chichester open
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 it began 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 Westgate Leisure Centre in Chichester, Bourne Leisure Centre and The Grange Community and Leisure Centre, run in partnership with Chichester District Council.
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.
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, no fewer than 30 Sporting Champions competed, taking home five gold, two silver and three bronze medals.
Stuart Mills, Everyone Active’s area contract manager, said: “We are delighted to support up and coming athletes from Chichester on their journey to success. As a leisure provider working in partnership with Chichester District Council, 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.”
Councillor Jess Brown-Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council said: “Since its launch eight years ago, the Sporting Champions scheme has nurtured so many of our talented sportspeople towards incredible success.
"We can’t wait to watch the next group of up-and-coming athletes seize the opportunity to meet and learn from the nation’s sporting heroes! With the spotlight on sport this year, thanks to the Olympic and Paralympic games, we hope that even more people will be inspired to take up a new sport or activity.
"If you’re interested, I’d encourage you to take a look at the first-class facilities and wide range of classes on offer at our three district leisure centres — located in Southbourne, Chichester and Midhurst.”
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 application information.