Olympic divers join the ranks of Child Friendly Leeds ambassadors

Picutre caption: "Alicia Blagg (left) and Hannah Starling (far right) are joined by new recruits from the City of Leeds Diving Talent ID Squad, Joe Stocking (9), Oliver Capitano (8),  Ruby Burnett(8) and Eleanor Monnelly (9) and Cllr Judith Blake (centre).

Two Olympic divers from Leeds will be role models for a generation of children after agreeing to be Child Friendly Leeds ambassadors.

City of Leeds divers Alicia Blagg, 16, from Woodlesford and Hannah Starling, 17, from Alwoodley will both be ambassadors to help Leeds become a Child Friendly City.

Alicia, who was the youngest member of the Team GB diving squad in London said:

“I’m really pleased that I’ve been asked to do it. I’m really proud that I’m going to be an ambassador and be able to promote Leeds and help make it bigger and better.

“Leeds is great for kids because there are so many different sports to try and different opportunities and clubs to take part in. It’s probably the best city to get involved in sports in.”

Team mate Hannah added:

“There is always loads to do in Leeds for kids. When I was younger we always used Harewood House, and the city centre, and there’s always lots to do in Millennium Square.

“It’s amazing to be an ambassador for Child Friendly Leeds. I was really chuffed to be asked because Leeds is my home town. Having grown up doing sport, myself, I think it’s great to be asked to help the rest of the community get together and try something new.”

Child friendly Leeds ambassadors inspire others to make Leeds a better place for children and young people. Children’s Commissioner Maggie Atkinson, a champion for children across the whole of the UK, is also a child friendly Leeds ambassador. There is also a steady stream of ambassadors coming forward from Leeds schools, colleges and organisations such as the NHS and West Yorkshire Probation Service.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services said: “It is great to have Alicia and Hannah on-board – they are true role models for our children and young people. But you don’t have to be famous to be Child Friendly Leeds ambassador, you just have to be proud of our city and willing to help us make it a better place for our children.”

Businesses and organisations across the city are also being asked to make a child friendly Leeds pledge, and say what they’re going to do to make Leeds the best city for children. This could include building stronger links with local schools, arranging for staff to become mentors to young people in care, helping to promote and support foster care across their workforce and looking at how they can change their services to make them more child friendly.

Since the campaign started last summer, one hundred ambassadors have already signed up, and 134 organisations have made child friendly Leeds pledges. To find out more, please see: www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyLeeds, and follow the campaign on twitter @child_Leeds

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Council’s diving training scheme is managed by Adrian Hinchliffe and has been running since 1986. The scheme provides opportunities in the sport of diving for all ages and from recreational to elite level. In total there are over 300 people taking part in the scheme on a daily and weekly basis, making it one of the biggest diving programmes in Britain.

For further information about the scheme contact Adrian Hinchliffe at adrian.hinchliffe@leeds.gov.uk, Edwin Jongejans at edwin.jongejans@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 7363.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk