Top amateur athletes to get a head start in Leeds

Athlete support scheme gives top STARS a chance to shine''.''From left: Wheelchair racer Nick Smith, Coun Katherine Mitchell, Vicky Joel director of operations at West Yorkshire Sport and Jack Laugher, City of Leeds diver and double Commonwealth Games champion.
Athlete support scheme gives top STARS a chance to shine''.''From left: Wheelchair racer Nick Smith, Coun Katherine Mitchell, Vicky Joel director of operations at West Yorkshire Sport and Jack Laugher, City of Leeds diver and double Commonwealth Games champion.
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Top amateur athletes will get a big head start thanks to free training at the city’s best sports facilities.

Leeds City Council has agreed to extend the Supporting Talented Athletes Recognition Scheme (STARS) scheme, which allows competitors to train free of charge at venues including The John Charles Centre for Sport and Holt Park Active.

The scheme - the only one of its kind running in West Yorkshire - is a partnership between Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Sport and aims to give the region’s most talented athletes the best possible preparation for performing on the world stage.

Past STARS athletes have included record-breaking wheelchair athlete Hannah Cockroft and world champion triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. 

Current STARS include hammer thrower Jessica Mayho, steeplechase runner Stephen Lisgo, Taekwondo black belt Leah Moorby and triathlete Graham Plews.

Coun Katherine Mitchell, lead member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said: “This year has really seen Leeds cement its place as a centre for world class sporting talent, with our athletes bringing home 28 medals from the Commonwealth Games alone. We want to do all that we can to help that talent continue to develop and flourish.”

The STARS scheme has been running for six years, and currently has 90 Great Britain or top 20 ranked athletes registered across 20 different sports.

Registered athletes range from 13 to 64 years old and all live, study or train within West Yorkshire.

For more details on how to apply, visit: www.wysport.co.uk/play/talent-support.

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