A number of promising young athletes on Active Luton’s developmental athletic programmes have been selected for higher honours.
The athletic programmes take place at Active Luton’s Stockwood Park track as well as in local schools and other community venues.
All of the programmes are set up to motivate and inspire young athletes. One of these is ‘Sportshall Athletics’ (SHA), which is delivered in sports halls using adapted activities such as standing long jump, turbo javelin, obstacle relays along with traditional sprints and endurance races. The main aim of SHA is to develop the fundamental skills of running, throwing and jumping in a fun environment.
The Luton Schools Athletic Cup has also been developed to provide more competitive opportunities for secondary school children in Luton, and is used as the selection process for the Bedfordshire Schools County Track and Field Competition. This has now provided three additional athletic competitions for secondary schools.
Active Luton also delivers a ‘gifted and talented’ programme at Stockwood Park Athletics Track for secondary school children. This provides young people with the opportunity to access quality coaching in numerous athletic events and raises the standards of athletic performances in competition. The programme is also used to encourage participants to join Luton Athletics Club.
There has been a noticeable improvement in Luton’s athletic performances since these programmes commenced including a number of excellent results and honourable selections.
Three Luton athletes on these programmes who were selected to represent England were Sabrina Bakare in 300m (2011), Dereece O’ Callahan in 400m (2012) and Jamal Lewis in cross country (2011 and 2012).
Earlier in the year, Luton had 10 athletes qualify for the prestigious English School Track and Field Championships in Gateshead. Two Luton athletes who medaled at the event were Dereece O’ Callahan in the intermediate 400m (silver) and Jamal Lewis in the junior 800m (Bronze).
Helen Barnett, Chief Executive at Active Luton, said: “These are fantastic achievements by some really talented young people so we are delighted that the hard work put into our programmes and initiatives is proving worthwhile.
“The programmes are designed to get more young people participating in athletics so they can go on to achieve their very best. I hope we can build on these successes, as well as Great Britain’s achievements in the Olympics, by getting many more young people involved in athletics locally.
Cllr Mohammed Ashraf, Portfolio Holder for sports and arts, said: “I am proud of all of the athletes who have benefitted from Active Luton’s modern sports facilities and programmes, which not only help the people of Luton to live healthier and more active lives, but also give us the ability to support potential future sports champions.”
If you are interested in getting involved in athletics, please call Stockwood Park Athletics Centre on 01582 72 29 30.
Active Luton is the organisation commissioned by Luton Borough Council to run sports and recreation activities and facilities across the town. For the latest news and more information about Active Luton’s facilities and memberships go to www.activeluton.co.uk
or ‘like’ ‘Active Luton’ on Facebook.