Hackney Olympian Dalton Grant teaches young people how to jump and sprint like a champion
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
A former Olympian from Hackney is hosting a series of athletics events for young people at east London parks this month.
Champion British high jumper Dalton Grant will be training local children and teens aged between 12 and 20 in a bid to inspire phone-addicted, younger generations to put down their devices, get active and enjoy the outdoors.
Dalton told the Gazette about the stretches, sprints, hurdles, and high jumps he conducted at the first Lift Off park session in Horley. Young people at the event also learned how to warm-up correctly before starting to exercise.
He said: “These are the kinds of things I need to bring back because kids with social media and technology they lose basic things. They can’t even do a roly poly.”
The high jumper who competed in three Olympic Games in the 90s - and got gold in the Commonwealth Games and European Indoor championships - said about 50 young people braved the rain for the first Lift Off event.
“They loved it,” he said.
"I want to use my experience to uplift this generation of kids. They need that support and to hold their hand on their journey and to make them feel confident enough to do sport themselves."
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Grant was born in Hackney and lived in Brooke Road, Upper Clapton. He attended Hackney Downs School where he took up high jump and later represented the borough in the London Youth Games.
Now he wants to offer his athletic knowledge to young east Londoners to help improve both physical and mental health.
Dalton added: “As a human being you have to be healthy and physical. It’s not anything to do with sport, just for your life. If you just sit down your muscles won’t work and your brain won’t work either.”
He says sports teach people about control.
Dalton stated: “It’s about you, no one can do it for you, you have to do it for yourself.”
He also mentioned that preparations for the 2012 Olympics anniversary are underway.
Lift Off will take place at Central Park in East Ham on July 10, Stratford Park on July 11 and at Olympic Park on July 17.