The next generation meet Olympic heroes at The SSE Arena, Wembley


Around 60 of the UK’s most promising young athletes got to meet Olympians Sir Chris Hoy, Darren Campbell MBE, Leon Taylor and Sharron Davies MBE in London this week at a two-day workshop held at The SSE Arena, Wembley.

The workshop marked the official intake of our 100 Next Generation athletes for 2015 / 2016 following on from the #Go Campaign during The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

While the athletes received training and competition tips from their heroes, their parents had a chance to speak to tennis’ most famous mum, Judy Murray, who talked about some of the challenges and choices that Andy and Jamie faced when they were younger.

Speaking to the athletes in The SSE Arena on Wednesday, Sir Chris Hoy expressed his hopes for their future thanks to the support they are getting from SSE. "It's great to see so many different sports included here,” he said, “and hopefully in ten years' time some of you will be sitting here on the sofa talking to the next generation.”

He added, "To have something like this is fantastic. Embrace this opportunity because it's amazing and I wish we had something like this."

The workshop covered nutrition, sports psychology, mentoring and media training to complement the financial support which we have provided to our Next Generation Athletes through SportsAid this year.

Rio hopeful Freddie Curtis, who trains in Finland and is currently the UK’s top under-20 javelin thrower, said the media training was his favourite session.

“The workshop has reinforced a lot of things for me and opened my mind up to a lot of new ideas and ways of looking at things.

“Last year at the junior world championships I had three foul throws in qualification and a few things I learned in the psychology session would have helped me there, so I’m going to take those things away and work on them and I won’t make that mistake again.”

He added, “The financial support will also help a lot and it’s really good to have.”

Tim Lawler, SportsAid’s chief executive, reflected on the two days, saying, “These workshops really help athletes and their parents to review their current plans, think of their next steps and hopefully realise that they are not alone. They are a hugely valuable experience which we couldn’t provide without the support of partners like SSE.”

This year’s intake of athletes includes athletes from a range of 36 different sports including 10 para sports and with an equal gender split. You can keep up to date with our Next Generation Athletes @SSENextGen. More information on the athletes and their profiles will be available in the next coming months.