Team GB Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock MBE was in Spinningfields today, ahead of the ninth staging of the Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester later this month.
Jonnie, who has won gold in the T44 100 metre sprint in two consecutive Paralympics, met ten young local athletes from North Ridge Specialist School in Blackley and Melland High Specialist School in Gorton to put them through their paces ahead of the popular event and talk to them about what it takes to become a champion.
For the first time, UK Superbrand Arcadis have become title sponsors of the event and even have an athlete of their own participating. England international pole vaulter and Arcadis employee Rachel Gibbens will be taking to the runway on the evening, competing to win gold on the city streets.
Jonnie said: “It's great to be able to meet these kids and hear about their plans and ambitions in sport.
“The Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester is a fantastic way to introduce people of any age to athletics, unlike a traditional stadium event, the races happen in quick succession and the crowd gets much closer to the action.
“It's a such a different experience for the athletes and fans as there is more interaction with the crowd and they get the opportunity to see how we compete from a whole new perspective.”
Jonathan Moore, Arcadis City Executive for Manchester, commented: “Our business is at the forefront of making Britain's cities better places for their people and businesses. So, by partnering with the Great CityGames here in Manchester we're taking this a step further.
“The games are quickly becoming a jewel in Manchester's sporting crown and we are extremely proud of the role we are playing in bringing people together in the heart of the city.
Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman said, "The free Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester has become a real fixture in the city's packed sporting events calendar and we can't wait to host elite athletics on the city centre's streets once more.
"Jonnie's work with local young people is a great example of how world-class sporting events such as this help to inspire the next generation of Mancunians to fulfill their own sporting potential."
The Arcadis Great CityGames Manchester, is held in a pop-up athletics arena in Albert Square and on a purpose built running track on Deansgate. This year the track will be positioned in a new location on Deansgate between Peter Street and Great Birdgewater Street. The event is completely free to spectate and 20,000 people are expected to be in attendance to watch world-class athletes battle it out. All the action will be shown live on BBC 2 from 18:00 – 19:30.