Britain’s future para-athletics stars return to competition - The Coventry Observer

9th Aug, 2022

Britain’s future para-athletics stars return to competition

THIS weekend Activity Alliance’s National Junior Athletics Championships takes place in Coventry, supported by Lions Clubs British Isles and British Athletics.

The annual event was one of many to be postponed during the pandemic.

This weekend on Saturday 3 July 80 young hopefuls are delighted to be back in the first meet for young disabled athletes since restrictions lifted.

This talent seen on track and field continues year on year and many elite athletes began their own success at the prestigious event, including Hannah Cockroft, Hollie Arnold, Aled Davies and Kare Adenegan.

World record holder and five-time Paralympic gold medallist, Hannah Cockroft said: “The National Junior Championships gave me a real taste of proper competition.

“I knew after that I wanted to experience this more, on an even bigger scale, so it gave me the hunger to train hard and make the senior teams.

“You’re surrounded by athletes that are a similar age to yourself but who all take the sport as seriously as you do.

“You’re literally in with the best juniors in Britain.”

This year Cockroft will be returning in a different capacity, as coach to 15-year-old Anya.

She added: “I’m excited for Anya to have the experience that was so priceless to me and to have the stage to do what she loves.

“As long as she enjoys her time at the Championships then she has won, because ultimately, that is what sport is about.”

The event is organised by Activity Alliance, the leading voice for disabled people in sport and activity. T

he national charity is running the event with support from the Lions Clubs British Isles and British Athletics.

Fundraising and sponsorship is paramount for the charity’s events programme.

Barry Horne, Chief Executive for Activity Alliance said: “It is so important that disabled athletes have more opportunities to compete against their peers from across the country and the National Junior Athletics Championships provides just that.

“When you see the list of recognised para-athletics champions, who once took part in this very event as juniors, you realise how essential competitions like this are.

“It is the biggest competition of its kind, and we are very proud to be getting our events back up and running again.”

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