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Champion hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton inspired the next track generation in Hackney

20th March 2013

The National Lottery celebrated its investment in sport by introducing champion hurdler Perri Shakes-Drayton to young track enthusiasts hoping to follow in her footsteps in her home borough of Hackney.

The Lottery-funded Olympian, who recently won double gold in the 400m and 4x400m relay at the European Indoor Championships, visited Stoke Newington School to meet and train with young people competing for Hackney at the upcoming Lottery-funded Sainsbury’s School Games Festivals.

The budding athletes have all taken part in inter-school and school vs school competitions and now preparing to represent Hackney in athletics at a Sainsbury’s School Games County Festival involving 3,000 of young people in multiple sports on Tuesday 26th March.

The local organising committee for the Sainsbury’s School Games in London was recently awarded an additional £270,000 of National Lottery funding for 2013-2014 through Sport England to make the events a real celebration of sport.

This is part of the £35.5 million of Lottery funding the Sainsbury’s School Games has received nationally to create fully inclusive, competitive opportunities for young people to take part in sport.

More than 20,000 young people across London took part in the festivals last year – inspired by the incredible year of sport.

Shakes-Drayton, who was also crowned World Indoor Champion in the 4x400m relay in 2012, said, “I have really enjoyed meeting the young people here today. They have been inspired by the Olympic Games during the summer and are now working towards competing at the London Sainsbury’s School Games Festival. The National Lottery is helping this event take place and offering opportunities for young people to get involved in sport in their community which is a great legacy from London 2012.

“National Lottery funding has certainly helped me to get to where I am and it will be there to support any of the young people here today that progress in their sport.

“It’s great to see that our future potential stars are being supported at an early stage through events like this and National Lottery players should be proud that they are funding such good causes all over the UK as well as hoping for their numbers to come in.”

Russell Findlay, Chief Executive of the London Youth Games, which delivers the Sainsbury’s School Games in London, said: “These events give young people the opportunity to fulfil their potential through sport. A record number of young Londoners took part last year. Lottery funding enables us to host a broad range of inspirational events that young people want to be a part of, driving the increase in youth participation and delivering a significant sporting legacy of London 2012.”

Mike Diaper, Director of Community Sport at Sport England, said: “The Sainsbury’s School Games is a great way for young people to discover new sports in a friendly environment. This is all possible thanks to National Lottery funding, which supports young athletes at both the grassroots and elite level.”

Shakes-Drayton is one of 1,200 National Lottery funded elite athletes. The funding allows her to compete and train full time to the highest of international standards. The National Lottery invested up to £2.2 billion in London 2012, allowing our athletes, venues and volunteers to shine on the world stage.

Notes to editors

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Notes to Editors:

  • The National Lottery has been changing lives for 18 years. National Lottery players have raised over £29 billion for Good Causes since the Lottery started in 1994. Over £6 billion of this has been invested in sport.
  • National Lottery funding enables 1,200 elite UK athletes to benefit from world class coaching, facilities and medical support.
  • National Lottery funding is also inspiring future generations by upgrading local sports clubs and facilities, and providing opportunities for thousands more people to enjoy sport.
  • Every week National Lottery players raise over £30 million to help change people's lives across the UK.
  • From funding our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, to supporting our war veterans, to investing in our museums, local parks, community groups and Oscar-winning films, Lottery funding has been changing people’s lives for 18 years.
  • The funding for the County Festival will be given to London Youth Games on behalf of the local organising committee.