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Sport for good

EXCITED: (from left back) Marcus Drummond Declan Sullivan, Ellen Wright and Continental Star head coach Delton Francis

OLYMPIC FEVER is now fast approaching, so the Voice of Sport spoke to some young people in Birmingham about their thoughts on the greatest show on earth and how vital is the role of sport in their own lives.

We met up with footballers from the inner-city club Continental Star and a 14-year-old athlete Ellen Wright, who is a member of Birchfield Harriers, the original club of Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis.

They were all at Newstyle Radio, the station for the African Caribbean community in Winson Green, to talk with breakfast show host Joan ‘LJ’ Hunter.

Ellen, from Northfield, Birmingham, trains for the long jump and the 200 metres at the Harriers.

For her, the Olympics have a double excitement as she has just won a draw at the club to watch the Jamaican track and field team train at the University of Birmingham.

Then in July she has been lucky enough to get tickets to watch the gymnastics in London.

“Sport is a big part of my life, so the Olympics will be a really exciting time for me,” said Ellen, whose Olympic heroine is Allyson Felix, the USA track and field sprint athlete who scooped a gold medal in Beijing.

Footballers Marcus Drummond, 17, and Declan Sullivan, 15, are both from Aston and play for Continental Star, the highest ranking inner-city community football club in the country.

Declan said: “People from our part of the inner city are often stereotyped but sport has given us a direction and a discipline.”

Continental Star’s head coach Delton Francis, who helps to train 350 young people every week, said: “I feel the young people should be encouraged to be more competitive in sport at school. Even if you lose you can still get something from that experience. I feel that’s important if we are going to find the next generation of Olympic stars.”

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