FORMER Olympic medallist Steve Cram believes a series of new running and cycling events in Worcester will help to capture the next generation of talented athletes.
The 53-year-old, who is a former world record holder at 1,500 metres and claimed a silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, was on hand to launch the Worcester City 10k, Run Bike Run and Young Athletes Run last Wednesday (March 19).
The events, which will take place at Pitchcroft Racecourse on Sunday, September 21, are likely to draw thousands of people to the city to compete and Mr Cram told the Observer he hoped athletics club in the area will use it as an opportunity to attract new members.
“We have had a lot of people running over the past 15 or 20 years, but a lot of them are not in clubs, so a part of my drive is to involve local clubs,” he said.
“We have got increasingly less people joining athletics clubs so we need to try and use these events to tell people that instead of running on your own there are athletics and triathlon clubs in the area and from that we will hopefully be able to spot more youngsters.
“There is talent in every street corner, but we have just got to try and give people the opportunities to come and take part.”
Mr Cram said he would also be interested in taking part in the Run Bike Run event which comprises of a 10k run and a 35k bike ride before a 5k run to finish at Worcester racecourse.
Bosses at the city council say they hope the event will become a permanent annual feature in the running calendar as they look to secure longer term funding beyond 2016.
Coun Adrian Gregson, leader at Worcester City Council, added: “These unique new events will put Worcester on the national sporting map, helping to build its profile and attracting a greater number of visitors to our great city.
“We hope that many local people, as well as others from much further afield, will be inspired to get training and be among the first to enter for 2014.”
To register or for more information visit www.worcestercityrun.com/