Inaugural Sporting Champions awards handed out as part of athlete talent scheme
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Inaugural Sporting Champions awards handed out as part of athlete talent scheme

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The inaugural Sporting Champions awards have been held to highlight the successes of a talent development programme that aims to help athletes at all stages of their careers.

Everyone Active’ Sporting Champions was set up in 2016 with the aim of securing athletes’ continued progression in sport by eliminating barriers to participation, such as lack of funding and access to training facilities.

At the time, the sports and leisure operator pledged to support 1,000 athletes by Tokyo 2020. It recently reached a milestone of having 800 athletes in the programme.

The scheme has grown rapidly over the past two years and has now extended its support to focus on providing unique educational opportunities for its beneficiaries through mentoring days.

Duncan Jefford, Everyone Active’s regional director, said: “As an organisation, we have long been committed to supporting talent from grass roots level all the way through to elite standard. By formalising this support through Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions, we have been able to really make a difference to the lives and careers of budding sports stars.

“The scheme is all about inspiring and motivating up-and-coming athletes to achieve their full potential. It offers participants a direct line to some of the UKs most inspirational sports people, and it was brilliant to have those same faces with us to celebrate the success of programme and the talent it supports.”

Everyone Active celebrated the milestone of reaching 800 athletes by arranging the awards ceremony, which saw one of the programme's athletes – Commonwealth paratriathlon champion Jade Jones-Hall – win two awards on the night, including overall ‘Sporting Champion of the Year’.

Other winners included European silver medallist diver Matthew Dixon; racing driver Emily Linscott; and champion climber, Katie Fischer.

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The inaugural Sporting Champions awards have been held to highlight the successes of a talent development programme that aims to help athletes at all stages of their careers.
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