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British athletes celebrate extended sponsorship with SPAR

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Local school children enjoy SPAR Sprints masterclass at Loughborough High Performance Centre

Local school children enjoy SPAR Sprints masterclass at Loughborough High Performance Centre.

 

Martyn Rooney, Graham Hedman and Sara McGreavy joined forces with former British 400m record holder Derek Redmond, to host a SPAR Sprints masterclass on Monday 18 June at Loughborough High Performance Centre to mark SPAR’s extended sponsorship deal with UK Athletics until 2009.

 

Thirty pupils from Castle Rock High School, Coalville enjoyed an afternoon of sprinting, hurdling and relays at Loughborough, under the guidance of Rooney and Hedman both preparing for 4 x 400m at the SPAR European Cup this weekend and McGreavy who finished fifth at her first European Indoor Championships in March.

 

The extended deal with UK Athletics signals SPAR’s ongoing commitment to the UK’s next generation of talented young sprinters through the SPAR Sprints Initiative first established in 2004. Martyn Rooney was one of the first athletes to benefit from a SPAR Sprints scholarship at the age of 17, in recognition of his dedication to the sport.

 

Martyn Rooney now has his sights set on his first Senior World Championships this summer in Osaka, Japan, he said: “I benefited from the SPAR Sprints Initiative a few years ago, the support really does help younger athletes to progress. I remember when I first got invited to take part in the training sessions I felt really privileged.”

 

Reflecting on the afternoon, he said:

“We had a lot of fun, the coaching sessions went well, the kids were really enthusiastic, I think they learnt a lot. It is the first time that I’ve met Derek, I think it’s great to have him involved in SPAR Sprints now, working at UK Athletics.”

 

The new two year agreement with SPAR commences immediately and provides a significant boost to the sport. The SPAR Sprints Initiative boasts 14 SPAR Sprint Centres throughout the UK with regular training sessions for local youngsters.

 

Sara McGreavy said: “I enjoy putting something back, it was great to work with the children, I think we broadened their experience of athletics and hopefully inspired them to take it further. The extended deal until 2009 is really positive news for the sport.”

 

Susan Darbyshire, Marketing Director SPAR UK, said: “ We are delighted to be offering this continued support to UKA so together we can foster skills amongst our young talented athletes, some of whom have the potential to compete in London, in five years time.

 

“We aim to support athletics at all levels; on a European, national and even grassroots level with our SPAR School Sports Day kits. “