Olympic stars bank grant success
COLTON sports coach Trina Elkington has seen the London Olympics already have a huge impact on her career, but she admits she never expected it to lead her all the way to Britain's greatest-ever Olympian Sir Chris Hoy.
The 43-year-old has many strings to her sporting bow as owner of and personal trainer at Leeds' Fit and Thin, as well as coaching people of all levels in swimming, cycling, kettlebells and Zumba.
Elkington's love of sport made her turn her back on a 20-year career as a management consultant, and she has not looked back since.
Quite the opposite, Elkington is instead looking forward and has a desire to better herself constantly, leading her to apply for Gillette's 2012 Great Starts campaign, a programme working in partnership with Sports Coach UK to sponsor a significant number of coaching qualifications.
The campaign concluded at an event attended by ambassadors Hoy, winner of six Olympic gold medals, and swimmer Liam Tancock who celebrated with the successful recipients of this year's grants in London.
Also in attendance in the capital were Loughborough swimming coach Ben Titley and British Cycling coach Shane Sutton, and Elkington insists rubbing shoulders with these sporting greats have got her excited about her own sporting future.
"I am really privileged, honoured and surprised. It's the first grant that I have ever applied for so it is nice to see funding coming in from the private sector for the sporting industry," said Elkington, a general fitness biomechanics coach.
"The athletics bodies are quite hard to get hold of unless you are a big club and I am in a smaller one so it is nice to be involved.
"I often look for any opportunity to expand my business and obviously money is tight during the recession so it's nice to see organisations are standing up.
"There are a number of courses I was looking to get involved in to expand the services I can provide and without the funding I would never have been able to do it with Gillette's help."
After hosting the Olympics this summer people up and down the country have been inspired by the sport on show, eager to get involved themselves.
And Elkington hopes that her involvement with the Gillette Great Starts campaign will help her open the door further to people from all walks of life.
"I have a few strings to my bow," she added. "I am a personal trainer but I encourage as many people to get involved in as many sports as possible.
"The London 2012 effect has been massive in terms of the everyday person realising although they may not be the next Olympic athlete but I can certainly enjoy sport.
"The qualification will make a big difference in terms of opening doors. It is more specialised in terms of supporting people to do sport that are currently injured or looking to get back into sport after an injury.
"I'm hoping to be able to encourage people who feel their injury is preventing them for getting involved in sport that there are things they can do that can improve their quality of life."
The 2012 Gillette ‘Great Starts' campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications.
(c) Sportsbeat 2012