Rising sports stars are being invited to apply for a sponsorship scheme fronted by Olympians.

 Up-and-coming athletes in Ryedale are being given the chance to become ‘Sporting Champions’ and gain much-needed support as part of a sports talent development scheme.

Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme, now heading into its seventh year, has helped thousands of athletes to achieve their sporting potential by providing free access to Everyone Active’s 200+ leisure facilities across the country.

The facilities include Ryedale Swim and Fitness Centre, Ryedale Sports Centre in Pickering, and Norton's Derwent Swim and Fitness Centre – run in partnership with Ryedale District Council.

The scheme’s line-up of decorated Olympians and Paralympians includes Lutalo Muhammad, Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova, Richard Kilty, Lauren Steadman, Kadeena Cox and Maisie Summers-Newton,* who will continue to provide their expertise, mentoring and support to athletes accepted on the scheme this year.

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.

Olympic silver medalist Colin Jackson will remain in his role as Sporting Champions Ambassador, working alongside the scheme’s Elite athletes to make sport more accessible within local communities.

Alongside some of Team GB’s top talent, he will play an integral part in providing both one-to-one and group mentoring sessions throughout the year. Colin said: “I’m proud to be involved in a scheme that is so dedicated to supporting athletic talent from grass roots up.

“I have watched the Sporting Champions scheme grow over the years and I’m so excited to continue working alongside a panel of truly talented Elite athletes to help mentor and support the next generation.

“The Sporting Champions scheme has helped thousands of up-and-coming athletes to achieve their sporting dreams and I can’t wait to see what this year’s intake go on to achieve.”

Over the past seven years, Sporting Champions has invested more than £1million into athletes on the scheme.

Peter Smith, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to support rising sports stars from Ryedale on their journey to success.

“As a leisure provider working in partnership with local councils, we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community.

“The Sporting Champions scheme has already supported a huge number of athletes and I’m proud that we are continuing this again in 2023.

“We hope to continue making a real difference to our athletes’ success and are excited to see what this year will bring.”

Cllr Di Keal, Chair of Policy and Resources Committee, said: “Ryedale District Council is delighted that Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme is returning for another year, and we’re pleased to be able to support in helping aspiring athletes across the district. We urge everyone with a keen interest in sports to apply for the programme and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.”

Applicants should visit www.easportingchampions.com to fill out the online application form, which will be available until Monday, March 13.

To find out more about Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme, visit www.easportingchampions.com.