Championing local sporting talent

Up-and-coming athletes in Dacorum have been given the opportunity to gain much-needed support as part of a sports development scheme.

Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions is providing talented sports men and women with the facilities and funds needed to support their training and help them reach their full potential.

It is the third year the scheme has been offered, but only the first time athletes in the area have been able to benefit after Everyone Active took over management of our five leisure facilities in April.

A number of local athletes have recently been recruited to the scheme at Berkhamsted Leisure Centre, Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre, Jarman Park Athletics track, Longdean Sports Centre and Tring Sports Centre.

The athletes have been offered either gold, silver or bronze levels of support, all of which allow them access to Everyone Active’s 170 leisure facilities across the country, with the higher tiers also offering funding for training and competition costs.

Denise Silk, who competes in the modern pentathlon, has been given silver sponsorship alongside all-round athlete Milly Gall. Denise’s daughter, Amy, has been offered bronze support, as have synchronised swimmer Lilly Beth Smith and javelin thrower William Edward.

Olympic silver medallist, Colin Jackson CBE, is continuing to support the scheme through his role as an ambassador. Alongside some of Team GB’s top talent, he will play an integral part in providing both one-to-one and group mentoring opportunities to the athletes.

Over the past three years, Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions has invested more than £500,000 to help over 700 athletes achieve success.

As well as local up-and-coming athletes, a strong line-up of Olympic and Paralympic athletes are supported by the scheme, including gold medal-winning gymnast Max Whitlock, Team GB hockey captain Alex Danson and wheelchair racer Jade Jones.

Councillor Andrew Williams, Leader of the Council, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see Dacorum athletes being supported through Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme. This will help the talented individuals achieve both their personal and professional goals in their chosen sport and benefit from a national programme of sporting excellence.”

Everyone Active’s area contract manager, Steve Cox, said: “We see so many quality sports men and women using the centres, and we are delighted to be able to support them on their journeys.

“As a leisure provider working in partnership with the Council, we feel it is important to cater for all sectors of the community. This includes emerging sporting talent, and I hope being part of the scheme makes a real difference to the athletes.”

To find out more about Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme, please visit

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