Olympic hero Keely Hodgkinson shares secrets of her success with youngsters

An Olympic hero shared some of the secrets of her success as Wigan Council marked the return of the Believe Talent Fund.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 3:00 pm
Keely Hodgkinson

Keely Hodgkinson – who claimed the 800m silver medal in Tokyo earlier this year – chatted to schoolchildren alongside her coach and borough legend Jenny Meadows.

At the special event at Leigh Sports Village, the 19-year-old spoke of her background in the sport, starting out at Leigh Harriers, and the support she received from the fund.

Launched in 2015, the council run fund has supported athletes with financial backing and is now open for fresh applications after a Covid enforced break.

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Councillor Chris Ready, lead cabinet member for communities said: “It was fantastic to have Keely at Leigh Sports Village this week.

“She is a truly inspirational figure to young people not just locally but now on a national and international level, and we can’t wait to see her career develop even further.

“Keely’s success and the success of all of the athletes from the borough is testament to the sporting opportunities and support available and I am sure we will see more local talent emerge in the coming years.”

The Believe Talent Fund is for young athletes between 11 and 24 living in the borough who may require financial assistance to participate, the next round for applications is open until 31st January 2022.

Grants of up to £500 are available to help with travel, accommodation, competition fees and equipment, for example.

To date, recipients of the fund include Olympic High Jumper Emily Borthwick, Wheelchair Rugby sensation Danny Dawoud, and Teams GB and Commonwealth Games Wrestling hopeful, Harvey Ridings.

Keely, who broke Dame Kelly Holmes’ 800m record at the Tokyo Games, spoke of her experiences at the Olympics and fielded questions from the youngsters alongside Jenny, who is herself a World and European Championship medallist.