Talented athletes in Ryedale are set to gain much-needed support as part of a sports talent development programme.

Now in its sixth year, Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme will provide more than 1,000 up-and-coming athletes with free access to more than 200 leisure facilities across the country, including a number of athletes from Ryedale.

Local athletes accepted on the scheme this year include Tom Bosworth, who won silver in the 20km race walk at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and Lily-Mae Gascoyne, who has competed at national level in judo, and slopestyle skier Thea Fenwick.

Alongside free access to Everyone Active centres, Sporting Champions will also get the chance to receive valuable mentoring and guidance from some of the UK’s most influential sports stars.

Everyone Active centres include Ryedale Sports Centre, Ryedale Swim and Fitness Centre in Pickering, along with Norton's Derwent Swim and Fitness Centre – run in partnership with Ryedale District Council.

Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson will continue to support the scheme through his role as an Ambassador. He will be working alongside a newly-appointed panel of Elite athletes to make sport more accessible within local communities.

Sporting Champions will also receive free unlimited access to the Everyone on Demand app, providing them with more than 500,000 at-home workouts from leading fitness brands, including WithU, Flex and Les Mills on Demand.

Jon Bird, Everyone Active’s general manager, said: “Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme has been very successful in providing exceptional support to emerging talent and we are delighted to be once again supporting athletes from Ryedale on their journey to success.

“It’s fantastic to see how the scheme has expanded over the years, now providing more than 1,000 athletes nationwide with access to top-quality training facilities and support.

“As a leisure provider working in partnership with local councils, we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community. We hope to continue making a real difference to our athletes’ success and are excited to see what the relaunch of the scheme will bring this year.”

Programme Director, Place and Resources for Ryedale District Council, Phillip Spurr, said: “It is important to us that financial means does not become a barrier for citizens accessing sports and reaching their athletic potential. We are pleased that our partners Everyone Active share that commitment.

“We invite members of the public to check out the Sporting Champions scheme.

“Ryedale could well have the next Olympic medallist out there and schemes like this are game changers that can make dreams a reality.”

To find out more about the Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions scheme, visit www.easportingchampions.com or follow @easportingchamps on Instagram. For further information on Everyone Active, visit www.everyoneactive.com