Updated: Thursday, 23rd November 2017 @ 12:04pm

Go for Gold! Manchester residents urged to follow in Team GB footsteps

Go for Gold! Manchester residents urged to follow in Team GB footsteps

| By Andrew Greaves

Residents across Manchester are being urged to take inspiration from Team GB’s medal-winning heroes by taking full advantage of world-class sporting facilities in their own back yard.

Manchester-based athletes brought home an impressive haul of medals from the Rio Olympic Games and their training bases, including the National Cycling Centre and the National Taekwondo Centre, cater for local residents, as well as elite athletes.

A series of taster events are being held at the Velodrome and the National Taekwondo Centre, to give more residents the opportunity to try out the sports for themselves – whether they’re a child who could become a future Olympic champion, or an adult who wants to have fun and get fit in the process.

The world-beating Team GB cycling team, led by golden couple Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, return to the National Cycling Centre in East Manchester with an amazing 12 medals - six gold, four silver and two bronze.

Built in 1994, the National Cycling Centre was extended in 2011, with an extra £23m of investment provided by Manchester City Council, Sport England and British Cycling.

As well as track cycling at the Velodrome, the centre offers an international-class BMX track, plus a mountain bike trails and skills zone, at nearby Clayton Vale.

The National Taekwondo Centre at Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath opened in March 2016, with £2.7m in funding provided by the council, UK Sport and Sport England.

And funds from the council’s rental agreement for the Etihad Stadium – a legacy of Manchester’s hosting of the 2002 Commonwealth Games - have been ploughed back into sport, helping both Olympic heroes and local residents to achieve their sporting goals.

GB’s taekwondo stars chipped in with three more - gold for double-Olympic champion Jade Jones in the -57kg class, silver for Lutalo Muhammad (-80kg class) and bronze for Bianca Walkden (+67kg class).

And even more Manchester success could follow, as Team GB’s Paralympic cyclists, plus the swimming team, who are based at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, launch their bid for glory next month.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Manchester has been one of Britain's leading sporting cities for many years and we are proud to have played our part in helping Team GB to achieve such an incredible medal haul at this year’s Olympics.

“Our strategy of investing in sport has always had, at its core, a keen focus on delivering outstanding facilities and activity programmes to benefit local people here in Manchester.

“Through committing to sport, we are ensuring that our residents have the opportunity to maximise their potential and enjoy active, healthy lives.”

A day of free sporting activities is also being held at the Manchester Aquatics Centre by Better, in association with Manchester City Council, ITV and the National Lottery on Saturday 27 August. 

The event includes swimming, water polo, boxing and circuit training sessions and is being held as part of the national I Am Team GB campaign.

To find out more, visit www.manchestersportandleisure.org.