Young Hackney athletes join Olympic Gold medallists

Sporty youngsters took to the streets in Hackney to compete against each other with a bit of encouragement from Olympic gold medallists Linford Christie and Darren Campbell.

They were taking part in Street Athletics in Downs Park Road for the chance to compete against youngsters from nine other London boroughs at the Street Athletics London Final at Jubilee Gardens, London South Bank, on 6 September.

Twenty four young athletes from Hackney will compete at the final and the top three boys and girls from each age group there will then go on to compete against youngsters from 13 other cities at the Street Athletics National Final in Manchester on 20 September.

Street Athletics is a community focused youth engagement programme created by Olympic Gold medallists Linford Christie and Darren Campbell. The programme is for young people aged under 20.

Street Athletics is taking place with the support of Reebok, Sony, Gaz de France and Sport England. The Hackney event was supported by Hackney Council, the Peabody Trust and the Southern Housing Group.

For more information on Street Athletics visit

Linford Christie said:

“Street Athletics is an amazing project now in its fourth year. We have seen thousands of young people taking part in races across the country. For us it began on the streets challenging other kids from other estates to race against us and if we hadn’t have done that we never would have got to where we are today. We were hugely excited about returning to Hackney with Street Athletics 2008 in an attempt to seek out the best raw talent the borough has to offer.”

Darren Campbell said:

“Athletics has shown me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and Street Athletics again gave young people in Hackney the opportunity to test themselves whilst having lots of fun. To me, everyone who took part had taken that first step in achieving their dreams.”

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, said:

“One of Hackney Council’s long-held ambitions is to inspire as many residents as possible to get involved in regular physical activity, and being a host borough for the 2012 Games is a great catalyst for this. The Street Athletics programme is a great way to demonstrate to our young residents the opportunities, enjoyment and health benefits that sport and physical activity can bring to our lives.”