Sprint star Abi Oyepitan inspiring youngsters in Peterborough
British athletics star Abi Oyepitan inspired young people in Peterborough at a Sportivate beginners running project at the Thomas Deacon Academy recently, one of the key initiatives to create a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Olympian Abi who won silver and gold Commonwealth medals for England, has enjoyed much success on National, Commonwealth, European and World stages and now as a Sport England Sporting Champion she is hoping to help develop the next generation of Athletics Champions.
Abi said: “I really enjoyed my visit to Peterborough and seeing this exciting Sportivate running project in action. I was particularly impressed with how the Academy is working with young girls to try running and I hope sharing my experience of proudly representing Great Britain will encourage them to take part and enjoy the sport."
She continued, "Sportivate is a fantastic way of getting young people into sport and is something I am really passionate about. I hope that as a Sport England Sporting Champion, I can inspire young people to raise their aspirations of what they can achieve and motivate them to be the very best versions of themselves that they can be.”
Sportivate is the £56 million National Lottery funded Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative that gives 11 to 25-year-olds who aren’t particularly sporty, coaching in a new sport and then helps them find low cost ways to continue to take part.
Jayne Molyneux, the Strategic Lead for Youth at Sport England, said: “It is great to see Abi helping to inspire young people to take part in this Sportivate initiative and we hope carrying on in a sport they may never have tried before. We have been delighted to work with the Greater Peterborough Athletics Network (GPAN) and the Thomas Deacon Academy to enable this visit to happen."
The network, a partnership of six of the local running and athletics clubs in Peterborough (Bushfield Joggers, Eye Community Runners, Peterborough Athletics Club, Thorney Running Club, Werrington Joggers and Yaxley Runners & Joggers), supported by England Athletics is the ideal pathway to give young people the opportunity to try running and then step into community sport and create a sporting habit for life. The clubs work in partnership with each other but with no loss of individual club identity to promote athletics and road running.
Tim Cook, chairman of GPAN, said: “These visits by elite athletes are hugely motivational and the clubs which make up the local network are united in wanting to provide the best opportunities for the young people. It’s been great having Abi in the city and we will continue to provide a gateway into running and athletics for young people to be the best they can.”