Athlete support scheme gives top STARS a chance to shine

Caption L-R: Nick Smith who has applied to be
part of the STARS scheme and is ranked second in the UK in T52
wheelchair racing for 100m, 200m and 400m, Cllr Katherine Mitchell, lead member
for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills,  Vicky Joel
director of operations at West Yorkshire Sport and Jack Laugher, City of Leeds
diver and double Commonwealth Games champion.

Top amateur
athletes will get a big head start thanks to free training at the city’s best
sports facilities.

Leeds City
Council have agreed to extend the Supporting Talented Athletes Recognition
Scheme (STARS) scheme, which allows competitors to train for free at venues
including The John Charles Centre for Sport and Holt Park Active.

The scheme, the
only one of its kind running in West Yorkshire, is a partnership between Leeds
City Council and West Yorkshire Sport and is designed to give the region’s most
talented athletes the best possible preparation for performing on the world

athletes have included record-breaking wheelchair athlete 
Cockroft and world champion triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. 

Current STARS include hammer thrower Jessica
Mayho, steeplechase runner Stephen Lisgo, Taekwondo black
belt Leah Moorby and triathlete Graham Plews.

Councillor Katherine Mitchell, Leeds City Council’s lead
member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills
, said:

“This year has really seen Leeds cement its place as a
centre for world class sporting talent, with our athletes bringing home 28 medals from the Commonwealth Games alone. We want
to do all that we can to help that talent continue to develop and flourish.

“By working with West Yorkshire Sport and giving STARS
athletes access to the best training facilities, we can continue to ensure they
are given every opportunity to succeed. It also gives other people using our
sports and leisure facilities an amazing chance to be inspired by top level
competitors as they train alongside them.”

The STARS scheme has been running for six years, and
currently has 90 Great Britain or top 20 ranked athletes registered across 20
different sports.

Registered athletes range from 13 to 64 years old and all live, study or train within West

Nigel Harrison, chief executive officer at West Yorkshire
, said:

“STARS is the only scheme of its kind in West Yorkshire,
providing nationally ranked athletes with free access to participating
facilities and a range of other benefits. 

“We are delighted Leeds City Council have extended their
offer, which will allow athletes a wider range of access to facilities in the

Anyone applying to be part of the STARS scheme must be a
current national sports person, a resident in West Yorkshire for the majority
of the year, member of a West Yorkshire club or studying in West Yorkshire and
able to provide national governing body evidence to support their application.

There is no age
restriction for the scheme.

For more details
on how to apply, visit: 


For media
enquiries, please contact:

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937