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Olympian-led sponsorship scheme launches in North Herts

Colin Jackson, Ambassador for Everyone Active's Sporting Champions
The scheme's Ambassador Colin Jackson

Up-and-coming athletes in North Herts 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.

Launching this month for the first time in the district, 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.

Applications will open in North Herts on Monday 8 April and will close after two weeks.

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.

Now included in the lineup are North Herts Leisure Centre, Hitchin Swimming and Fitness Centre, Fearnhill Sports Centre and Royston Leisure Centre, which are now managed by Everyone Active in partnership with North Herts 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, 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.

Chris Williams, Everyone Active’s area contract manager, said: “We are delighted to introduce this fantastic scheme to support up and coming athletes from North Herts on their journey to success.

“As a leisure provider working in partnership with North Herts 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 a part of this movement in 2024.

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

Sarah Kingsley, Service Director for Place at North Herts Council, added: “North Herts Council is pleased to become part of Everyone Active's Sporting Champions – if you are a budding athlete please do apply to the scheme, you have nothing to lose!”

Applications are open until Monday 22 April via Everyone Active Sporting Champions (

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