Budding sports stars from across the South Yorkshire are being given the chance to win a year’s free scholarship in a new project aimed at uncovering the next generation of Olympic athletes.
Sheffield International Venues (SIV) has launched the ‘Search for a Sporting Star’ campaign, which will see youngsters aged between five and 16 years old showcase their skills by submitting a two minute video of them taking part in their favourite sport.
A winner will be selected for 12 different sports and each will be awarded a year’s free coaching for their chosen sport at one of SIV’s facilities across Sheffield, as well as receiving a gold medal in a special ceremony in September.
Sports included in the campaign are athletics, diving, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, golf, basketball, netball, football, judo, tae kwon do and boxing and the winners will be picked by an esteemed panel of judges.
Silver and bronze medals will also be awarded for each sport, with each silver medallist scooping a free six week block of coaching and bronze medallists receiving a free SIV day pass.
Steve Brailey, chief executive of SIV, which manages venues including the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield and Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, said: “At SIV we have a number of initiatives to help youngsters take up sporting activities and the ‘Search for a Sporting Star’ project is another fantastic way to encourage their involvement in sport and physical activity.
“Using the power of sport, particularly in the run up to and during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we can inspire young people to get more active more often and help shape and create the next generation of local stars.
“We’d encourage young people from across the whole region to take up this exciting and unique opportunity to be coached by experts who will give help and support them to become the best they can be in their sport.”
The young people are also being encouraged to talk about themselves in the videos, how they got into their favourite activity and if they have already achieved success since taking up the sport.
SIV, home to a number of high profile sporting greats, including European Heptathlon Champion Jessica Ennis, World boxing champion Savannah Marshall and GB divers Nick Robinson-Baker and Monique Gladding, is also currently working with a number of local primary and secondary schools as part of its ‘Sheffield: City of Sport’ initiative.
It is visiting pupils to talk about the Olympic athletes who train at SIV’s world-class facilities, inspiring them to take up sports at these same venues and letting them know about the opportunities available to them, including the Search for a Sporting Star competition.
Grenoside Community School and St Giles Primary School in Sheffield were two of the first to get a visit from SIV and each child also received a Sheftival goody bag with information about the two day sports and music extravaganza and the chance to enter the Sheftival colouring competition to win tickets to the event.
Entry for Search for a Sporting Star is now open and the deadline for video submissions is 9 September 2012 – the date of the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games.
For more information or to enter, visit www.cityofsport2012.co.uk/stars.