Reigning 400m world champion Christine Ohuruogu has been involved in an ongoing, challenging legacy project since the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The scheme has seen her visit 100 schools in her home borough, Newham, and aims to inspire young people to build on the legacy of the games and make the most out of the opportunities available to them.
Back in October, Ohuruogu said: “We all talk about legacy but the most important defenders of this legacy are the residents themselves – they’re the ones who know what goes on and can drive it. If I can get the kids motivated, they’re smart enough and enthused enough that they can carry the flame on.”
As well as becoming involved in the legacy project, the 29-year-old has been financially supporting promising young athletes. The money, which comes out of Ohuruogu’s own pocket, helps athletes to train, travel to competitions and attend warm weather training trips.
British Athletics’ performance director, Neil Black, spoke: “What’s great is to see people like Chrissie supporting other athletes. She doesn’t tell anyone but she pays for people to go training and to events. She’s putting huge amounts back into the sport.”
Ohuruogu, current UK 400m record holder, genuinely enjoys inspiring youngsters and has previously said: “Nothing is more fulfilling than when you tell a kid something and you can see them thinking: ‘That’s what I’m gonna do.’ People can learn more from me doing that than seeing me in a glossy mag doing nothing.”
The development of grassroots athletics relies on the support and input of athletes like Ohuruogu: “We have to identify the next generation who are going to replace stars like Chrissie. We can’t depend on them forever,” Black said.