Dacorum & Tring AC representative Mitchell Camp headed to Chelmsford Athletics Centre for the English Federation of Disability Sports’ (EFDS) annual celebration of track and field events.
The Typhoo East Regional Disability Athletics event was the latest in a number of regional qualifiers for the National Championships and a chance to spot athletics stars of the future.
Ros Cramp, event organiser said: “With more than 140 competitors it was another great event. Athletes came from all over the region from athletics clubs, schools, special Olympics squads and individuals who have not yet made it to a club setting.
“For some it will have been their first ever experience of an athletics competition and for others like T20 INAS World Heptathlon Champion Martina Barber, it’s her opportunity to inspire the next generation of athlete and give something back as an athlete and role model.”
Typhoo and national charity EFDS have tea-med up to ensure more disabled athletes have access to participation opportunities across England, under the banner of ‘Sports for All’.
It is the third time Typhoo has backed the charity’s work after sponsoring the Typhoo Sports for All project in 2009 and 2010 and this year the international tea company is supporting EFDS’s Disability Sport Events programme.
Somnath Saha, Chief Executive of Typhoo Ltd, said: “EFDS’s mission to encourage more disabled people in to all kinds of sport is one that we are delighted to support and Typhoo has renewed its partnership because of our commitment to community engagement.
“Sports for All is a wonderful and fun programme which promotes the many benefits of participation in sport which are not only physical.
“It is also a great opportunity for these young people to display their talent which one day might result in their competing on bigger stages in international games.”
For over 25 years, the Championships have provided thousands of young disabled athletes with the opportunity to develop their talent and compete against their national rivals. The full programme ensures there are disabled competitors with a wide range of impairments are taking part.
More than 1,000 disabled athletes are taking part in the regional qualifiers for the National Junior Athletics Championships on 27-28 June. Around 250 12-20-year-olds will compete at Warwick University stadium, with some expected ultimately to qualify for the GB Paralympics squad.
There is a full track and field 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 for EFDS, said: “For more than 25 years, the championships have provided thousands of young disabled athletes with the opportunity to develop their talent and compete against their national rivals. We’re delighted that Typhoo is again partnering us in this much-loved programme and supporting the work we do.”
Many elite disabled athletes, who began their golden careers at the event, remember these Junior Championships fondly. Paralympians Hannah Cockroft, Shelly Woods, Aled Davies and Hollie Arnold used the event as part of their development to become world-class athletes.
Regional events are delivered by teams of dedicated volunteers, who drive the athletes’ ambition to qualify at the Nationals. This makes them highly competitive for the team trophy at the national event.