Story: Danny Hall & Nicholaus Hall Photos: Nicholaus Hall
In four years from now, when the Olympic Games come to these shores, the dream is to have a Great Briton on the podium. To have world class athletes, there needs to be opportunities for young people, Fir Vale Fusion Athletics is providing that for Burngreave Youngsters.
The organisers of the scheme are well aware of the benefits it offers. Dave Spacey, Athletics Development Officer for Activity Sheffield, says: “It’s very important for them to get into athletics, for their development and also to make friends and keep them healthy. With the large number of events in our sport, athletics has something to offer everyone.”
An initial programme was set up for eight weeks at Fir Vale School and 25 youngsters attended every week of the scheme, leading to them being awarded a scholarship to train as Don Valley stadium. The initiative has been described as creating ‘a real buzz”.
The Messenger asked the children what they thought: “I like it because it's fun and you do different things every time.” I like the 60m sprint, I don't mind hammer (the type you throw) though too much, but I like hurdles.” Wanjiko Msigiti (9, Firshill School)
“I get to learn neat stuff and get to do competition with other groups.” Deian Sinclair (9, St Catherine's School)
“I like high jump and sprinting and I like speed bounces – I can do 46. It's not that hard; it depends on what we're doing. I’d like to do it in the future and basketball as well.” Anisah Hussain (11, Whiteways Junior School) “Sometimes it's hard, sometimes OK.” Faran “Mr F” Houssain (11, Whiteways Junior School)
“It's fun and difficult sometimes. You feel much healthier when you run around. I like the games and competitions, e.g. bulldog. I want to continue doing it for a long time.” Zain Asif (11, Whiteways Junior School)
Emma Msigiti (mother of Wanjiko Msigiti) said, “I think it's fantastic. She started at Fir Vale School and she really enjoyed it. We've tried different activities but this is the only one she's taken to. I think she'll carry on with this programme for as long as it goes.”
Dave Spacey says, “The parents have been fantastic, a great response from them. We get 60 kids here on a Saturday morning which is really quite amazing.”
Keep an eye out at London 2012 – one of Britain’s Olympic heroes could be familiar to the Burngreave community.