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Track Academy Invitational to host champion athletes

PUBLISHED: 10:30 10 August 2017

Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson will visit Track Academy in Willesden (pic PA)

Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson will visit Track Academy in Willesden (pic PA)

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Thompson and Levine to be guests of honour at special event

Nigel Levine on his way to victory in the 400m at the British Indoor Championships (pic PA) Nigel Levine on his way to victory in the 400m at the British Indoor Championships (pic PA)

Athletics stars Daley Thompson and Nigel Levine will be the guests of honour at a special competition at Track Academy by Connie Henry in Willesden next week.

The Invitational takes place at the Willesden Sports Centre in Donnington Road on Tuesday, August 15 between 7pm and 9pm and, along with Olympic decathlon champion Daley and European gold medalist sprinter Levine, it is expected that more than 400 people will be in attendance.

These will include other athletes fresh from taking part in the World Championships, plus local dignitaries, representatives from community organisations and Track Academy alumni.

Musical entertainment will come from teenage singer-songwriter Jorja Douglas, who won the second series of the CBBC talent show Got What It Takes. The 15-year-old will be performing songs by Miley Cyrus and Destiny’s Child to open and close the event and Track Academy founder Connie Henry, herself a Commonwealth Games medalist, said: “This is going to be a really special evening of first-class athletics, which will bring a new and exciting dimension to the traditional competition format.

“The nation will have just finished watching the thrilling World Athletics Championships in London, and our Invitational will be the perfect way to keep the momentum going.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have Daley and Nigel coming along; they are sure to be a very inspirational presence for our young athletes. And Jorja’s beautiful voice will be the icing on the cake.”

Events taking part at the second bi-annual invitational include the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, triple jump, javelin and shot put.

The competition is open to all athletes, who can either sign up in advance online or turn up on the day and cash prizes are on offer for the winners.

Entries cost £4 for athletes from Track Academy or members of the West London Athletics Network, and £6 from other competitors.

Certain restrictions apply and full details can be found at trackacademy.co.uk. Spectators can attend for free.

The competition is certified by British Athletics, which means times will be recorded and published officially, and it is also supported by Team Personal Best, the official London 2017 Inspiration Programme.

The initiative has been working with partners including BBC Get Inspired to promote grassroots athletics and running throughout the summer, tying in with the excitement of the World Para Athletics and the IAAF World Championships.

Lucy Broad, from Team Personal Best, said: “Hundreds of events are happening around the country to celebrate, including Track Academy’s Invitational. We are delighted to be supporting such a great grassroots athletics event, and hope it encourages people to #BeTheNext.”

*Track Academy is a registered charity which uses sport for social change among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

With its office base at the College of North West London and its training ground at Willesden Sports Centre, academy members are given inspiration to succeed both on and off the track.

Alongside athletics coaching, they attend education sessions to help them gain qualifications, encouraging them to carve out fulfilling lives away from negative influences.

To find out more about the Track Academy Invitational, visit trackacademy.co.uk or call 07956 715052.

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