Outgoing Lord Mayor of Manchester, Paul Murphy OBE, is launching a new initiative to find 10 young Manchester athletes aspiring to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
‘The Lord Mayor’s Future Champions’ initiative as kicked off in style when Murphy placed a £20 bet to find an Olympic champion to win gold, with odds set by Betfred owner Fred Done at 10,000/1.
Charity We Love MCR created the idea with support from the North West’s leading track and field athletics coaching organisation, the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation.
“I believe it’s time Manchester, a city of sport, begins to ask why we do not produce track and field Olympians,” said Murphy.
“We have the raw talent, world class facilities and world class coaches. Additional funding is also a critical ingredient and I am hoping we will receive the support to achieve our goal for 2020.
“Fred Done has given us generous odds. I look forward to taking his cash!”
The initiative will offer first-class coaching, mentoring, support and guidance, access to track and field training facilities, medical support and competitions in the run up to Tokyo.
Skateboarding, surfing, karate, baseball/softball and sports climbing might make their Olympic debut in four years having been recommended by the International Olympic Committee this week with a decision due ahead of the August 5-21 Rio Games.
Stockport steeplechase talent Aimee Pratt, 18, trains at the DMSF and is linked to the initiative.
We Love MCR will help raise money to fund coaching sessions with four-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist 800 metre champion Diane Modahl and her partner, Olympic athletics coach Vicente Modahl.
“I am a big supporter of the We Love MCR Charity and everything they do to help support the people of Manchester. I’d be more than happy for this bet to come through!” said Done.
“The Lord Mayor’s Future Champions initiative is a great opportunity for young people to aim high and reach their potential goals in athletics.”
To help kick start fundraising the July 10 UK Fast We Love Manchester 10k is encouraging members of the public to take part and donate to the initiative via the We Love MCR Charity.
To show your support, follow the hashtag #FutureChampionsMCR and simply text MANC00 ‘£10’ (the value of your donation) to 70070 or visit the just giving website www.justgiving.com/welovemcr
To find out more information on The Lord Mayor’s Future Champions visit the We Love MCR Charity website http://www.welovemcrcharity.org/