Over 240 of the country’s finest young disabled athletes will be going for gold in Coventry this weekend (27 and 28 June) at the Typhoo National Junior Athletics Championships.
The annual event is one of the highlights in the disability sports calendar with some competitors hoping their success might lead to a golden career in athletics. Many elite disabled athletes began their own success at this prestigious event, including Hannah Cockroft, Shelly Woods, Aled Davies and Hollie Arnold whose talent marked them out as potential world-class athletes.
The two-day championships at the University of Warwick’s athletics track is organised by the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS). It has a full programme on offer, meaning athletes with a wide range of impairments can take part- something which is not often supported at many other events.
Barry Horne, chief executive of EFDS said:
“EFDS believes everyone should have a chance to be active, at whatever level they choose to take part. The Typhoo Junior Athletics Championships 2015 is certainly one of my favourite events of the year and we know how much the athletes enjoy it too. That’s why it is great to see how many young disabled people will be part of this weekend’s competition.”
The Typhoo programme has been designed with EFDS to make sure more disabled athletes have access to participation opportunities under the ‘Sports for All’ banner.
It is the third time Typhoo has backed the charity’s work after sponsoring the Typhoo Sports for All project in 2009 and 2010 with this year the international tea company supporting EFDS’s Disability Sport Events programme.
Somnath Saha, Chief Executive of Typhoo Ltd, said:
“This is an important celebration of talent and Typhoo has been delighted to support it. Sport can change lives and that is certainly true for those who have taken part in the regional qualifiers and this weekend’s national championships.
“Being active can help with physical and mental health, confidence and fitness and to promote social interaction. That’s why it is great to see such a high number of young disabled people taking part in this weekend’s competition, supported by an army of volunteers, families and schools.
“And one day, who knows, some of these youngsters might emulate the likes of Hannah Cockroft, David Weir, Jonnie Peacock and other Paralympians and take their talent to even bigger stages.”
Lions Club International has been involved with the event since it began. Their fundraising and volunteers have supported the national and regional events across England.
Ian Clare, Lions Clubs Partnership Officer said:
“The National Junior Athletics Championships have helped to identify and develop new talent, as well as engage many Lions volunteers. Our partnership confirms two areas of commitment for the Lions Clubs’ in local communities – health and youth as well as encouraging fulfilling lives and empowering the next generation.”
The first starting gun will be fired at 10am on Saturday 27 June and the last tape broken at 1pm on Sunday 28 June, with the two days of competition sandwiching the championship dinner on the Saturday night.
As well as individual medals up for grabs, there is the team championship on offer, with current holders the North East again fielding a very strong team.