Sportstarts is a new charity that has been set up to provide school age children with the opportunity to attend free taster sessions in a variety of disciplines accross a huge number of Olympic and Paralympic sports that they would not normally get the opportunity to try.
Sportstarts was founded by two brothers, Alex and Christo Eliott Lockhart, whose enthusiasm for the London Games inspired them to start a charity that would help find and promote athletic potential among British children, both able bodied and disabled. Alex and Christo are not just passionate about sport, but are incredibly competitive; they decided that the best way to jump start fundraising for the Sportstarts initiative would be to compete against each other in every Olympic sport over the course of the Olympic year...
Thus was born the Evoking History challenge, of which Sportstarts will be the sole beneficiary.
Sportstarts: finding athletes of the future
Success in sport requires discipline, rigour and teamwork but above all this it provides immense personal gratification and satisfaction. There is a need for perseverance and a degree of stubbornness; trying your hardest even when things aren't going your way. Giving your all and being magnanimous in defeat and gracious in victory. Giving your best and not giving up.
Sportstarts is a charity that can open the door to everything that sporting achievement has to offer, for both able bodied and disabled children.
Perhaps you or your child dreams of competing at the Olympics or Paralympics but has never had the opportunity to hold a vaulting pole, climb into a rowing boat, handle a fencing foil or sit in a high performance racing wheelchair.
Sportstarts can provide that opportunity.
Who are we?
Sportstarts is a new charity that has been set up to provide both able-bodied and disabled school age children between the ages of 7 and 16 with the opportunity to attend free taster sessions in a variety of Olympic and Paralympic disciplines that they would not normally get the opportunity to try.
A scholarship fund will give certain eligible children a chance to develop their new-found skills by attending further accredited training sessions in the sporting discipline of their choice.
The hope is that the seed sown during taster sessions might lead to future sporting successes both individually, locally, nationally and internationally.
Why are we doing it?
The founders of Sportstarts are not only passionate about sport but were lucky enough to have the opportunity to try a huge number of them - and even excel at a few.
As their bones get older and creakier they would like to provide another generation of children with similar opportunities in the hope that they will excel, irrespective of their background or ability.
By getting kids involved in a whole cross section of sporting disciplines Sportstarts hope not only to inspire children with the thrill of sporting achievement, but perhaps discover Oympians and Paralympians of the future.
We are the only charity providing opportunities for both able-bodied and disabled sportspeople to try less mainstream sports and then take those new found skills further through coaching scholarships. We are looking to go beyond what can be offered by traditional school sports, local clubs and community groups.
Sportstarts offers the chance to have a go at something new and then support further development for those who show a particular enthusiasm or ability.
What will Sportstarts actually do?
Starting in January 2013 we will provide taster days at which children from 7 to 16 can take part in a number of disciplines across a wide range of Olympic and Paralympic sports. Taster sessions will give children the opportunity to try sports that they would probably never have the opportunity to try or, in some cases, may have tried but couldn't take further for financial reasons.
We will be providing free taster sessions in a variety of Olympic and Paralympic disciplines, focusing particularly on less mainstream sports that children would not normally get the opportunity to try, such as archery, white water kayaking, fencing, wheelchair basketball or goalball.
At each session Sportstarts will provide professional expertise, accredited coaching and all the necessary equipment. Coaches will not only coach but will talent spot for those with 'something extra'. We are hoping the upcoming London Games will plant the seed of sporting passion in Olympians and Paralympians of the future. Sportstarts wants to help unearth that talent.
Sportstarts will follow up on taster sessions by giving children who show a special enthusiasm or aptitude for one or more disciplines the opportunity to develop that skill.
Through our website children will be able to find coaches, clubs and groups who can help them develop their skill.
Furthermore, Sportstarts will also provide a number of eligible children with the opportunity to apply for sponsorship for coaching in their specified discipline, up to the value of £500.
Who can come to Sportstarts taster sessions?
Children aged between 7 and 16 will be able to attend the sessions. They will be encouraged to sign up through the Merton School Sport Partnership and their school PE Coordinator.
Sportstarts aims to give all children the chance to excel in sport, irrespective of their background, ability or disability. We are open to any child who shows a willingness to try something.
Our aim is to to help, find and inspire the Olympians and Paralympians of the future.