Up-and-coming athletes in East Suffolk are being given the chance to become ‘Sporting Champions’ and gain much-needed support as part of a sports talent development scheme.

Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions programme, now heading into its seventh year, has helped thousands of athletes to achieve their sporting potential by providing free access to Everyone Active’s 200-plus leisure facilities across the country - including Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft and Waveney Valley Leisure Centre in Bungay.

Lowestoft Journal: Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft. Picture: NewsquestWaterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft. Picture: Newsquest (Image: A(C)Archant2015)

Aspiring athletes will be able to apply from now until March 13 by visiting the Everyone Active Sporting Champions website.

Lowestoft Journal: Waveney Valley Leisure Centre in BungayWaveney Valley Leisure Centre in Bungay (Image: Newsquest archives)

The scheme’s impressive line-up of decorated Olympians and Paralympians will continue to provide their expertise, mentoring and support to athletes accepted on the scheme this year.

Sporting Champions will also receive free unlimited access to the Everyone On Demand app, providing them with more than 500,000 at-home workouts from leading fitness brands, including WithU, Flex and Les Mills.

Olympic silver medalist Colin Jackson will remain in his role as Sporting Champions Ambassador.

Stuart Jardine, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: "We are delighted to be able to support rising sports stars from East Suffolk on their journey to success.

"As a leisure provider working in partnership with East Suffolk Council, we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community."

Lowestoft Journal: Letitia Smith. Picture: East Suffolk CouncilLetitia Smith. Picture: East Suffolk Council (Image: East Suffolk Council)

Letitia Smith, East Suffolk Council's cabinet member for communities, leisure and tourism, said: "The Sporting Champions scheme offers a great opportunity for young athletes to develop their abilities.

"This is the second year of the scheme in East Suffolk, following the appointment of Everyone Active to manage our leisure facilities in the north of the district, and I would encourage any aspiring local athlete to apply.”

Applicants should visit www.easportingchampions.com to fill out the online application form.