Applications for Olympian-led sponsorship scheme in East London open - London Aquatics Centre
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Applications for Olympian-led sponsorship scheme in East London open

Tuesday, 27 February, 2024
Ea Sporting Champions

Local athletes in East London 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.

Relaunching this month, the renowned programme takes a leap forward this year by including the iconic London Aquatics Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The London Aquatics Centre will be managed by Everyone Active in partnership with London Legacy Development Corporation from March 1, 2024 and is poised to catapult the careers of a new generation of local athletes.

The Sporting Champions programme is a sports talent development scheme designed to assist the country’s next generation of superstar athletes in making the most of their natural talents.

Athletes on the scheme will benefit from free access to state-of-the-art training facilities – including the London Aquatics Centre’s 50m competition pool, 50m training pool and dive pool and platform, as well as the gym and fitness class studio.

In addition to facility access, athletes will also receive mentoring support from Olympians and Paralympians through events. These sessions offer aspiring athletes the chance to meet with Olympians and ask questions about various topics such as nutrition, fitness, event preparation, mental health, and social media.

Aspiring athletes, both current members at the London Aquatics Centre and undiscovered talents are being encouraged to apply, with both sporting newcomers and those established in their field being welcomed in the scheme.

Since its inception in 2016, the Sporting Champions 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.

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 hosting mentoring sessions throughout the year.

These sporting heroes, along with more experienced Sporting Champions, 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.

Mark Basker, Everyone Active’s regional contract manager, said: “It is with immense pride that we extend our Sporting Champions programme this year into East London in this important sporting year.

“The London Aquatics Centre is a premier venue that has witnessed the triumphs of many sporting champions over the years which is why it adds an extra layer of significance to our 2024 initiative.

The Sporting Champions scheme, with its history of supporting thousands of athletes, is now excited to welcome new talents in East London, unlocking fresh opportunities for training and sporting achievements. This marks the beginning of an exciting journey for aspiring athletes in the area.

Edward Fane, Head of Venues at the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “The London Aquatics Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the perfect place for individuals to go from learning to swim and dive to fulfilling their sporting potential through the Sporting Champions scheme.  

“We are proud to be home of a great swimming and diving programme at the London Aquatics Centre with lessons, clubs, academies and elite training with over 1 millions visitors a year.”

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

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

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