Introducing our latest Space Champion – promising young athlete Olivia Hopwood.
The 14-year-old becomes the first female to be inducted as an ambassador for the summer-long Space programme, following the recent appointment of ex-Port Vale footballer Adam Yates.
Space was introduced by the Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, with a view to bringing together public, voluntary and private sector organisations to help nurture, support and guide youngsters across the county.
This year the target is to attract 25,000 attendees across Staffordshire and Stoke, with more than a 1000 activities.
Stoke-on-Trent youngster Olivia, a member of Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club, is the current Staffordshire School Combined Events Champion, having impressed in the 75m hurdles, 100m and 200m. She has also competed in the long jump and high jump.
A keen cricketer and swimmer, she was also a semi-finalist at the athletics’ nationals in 2017 for under-15s and achieved Mason Trophy qualification two years in a row – the first of which she competed for a year above her actual age group.
Olivia, whose versatility also extends to football – she previously played for Stoke Town Ladies’ junior team – hopes her passion for sport will inspire youngsters throughout this year’s Space project.
‘I’m really excited to become one of the champions of the Space scheme,’ said Olivia.
‘Sport is really important, not just physically but mentally too – I’ve found it even helps you with your school work.
‘I do a lot of sports, I really enjoy it and I’m looking forward to being involved with Space this summer.’
PCC Matthew Ellis said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have some of Olivia’s passion on board as a Space Champion.
‘Space 2018 will continue with its aim of increasing skills, improving health and wellbeing – also creating opportunities for young people to take part in positive activities to make communities safer.
‘It is very clear Olivia is ready to embrace her role with enthusiasm. I wish her all the best.’
The Space summer schedule has been mapped out, with a full list of activities available on the Space website (staffordshirespace.uk). Book now, to avoid disappointment.
Use and follow #StaffsSpace2018 on Twitter for updates during the coming months.