sport

Kenny and Trott back new scheme

Jason Kenny and Laura Trott are hoping to be influential in a mentoring plan which has served them well in their own Olympic careers.

Three-time Olympic champion Kenny and Trott, twice a gold medallist at London 2012, are an inspiration to many and plan to use their experience to support the next generation of British talent.

In the British team, young stars train alongside multiple Olympic and world champions, as Kenny did when he joined the squad alongside his hero, Sydney 2000 gold medallist Jason Queally.

"It's really helpful for young, aspiring sportsmen to meet their heroes," Kenny said.

"For me it was Jason Queally. I met him at a charity event and I got his autograph, which I subsequently lost. I've got his number now, so I don't need his autograph.

"They're very normal people, they are human and to see what they've achieved...

"They've been around for a long time, they've got a lot of experience to pass on.

"You learn from them, you learn from all their mistakes and it helps your development that much quicker."

Kenny was a quick learner and was one of the riders selected ahead of Queally for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when the Bolton rider was 20 and his fellow Lancastrian was in the twilight of his career.

Now aspiring cyclists have an opportunity to replicate Kenny's rise, first by winning the chance to train with Kenny and Trott at the venue for London 2012. The competition for seven to 14-year-olds is open at disney.co.uk/aimhigh.

It could be that competition winners may be on an Olympic team with Kenny and Trott in future.

The 25-year-old added: "It is possible. It happens really quickly. One day you seem to wake up and you're at the Olympics. That's how it was for me.

"It's just a case of believing in yourself and giving yourself the opportunity."

Trott's early hero was Sir Bradley Wiggins, who shared his first Olympic gold medal with the Cheshunt cyclist following his individual pursuit win in Athens in 2004.

Trott said: "As a 12-year-old you're quite scared. You do look up to him.

"I just went up and asked for his autograph and I was the lucky one who got the medal.

"When he hung his medal round my neck I was like 'oh my God!'

"My sister (cyclist Emma Trott) was quite jealous, because he hung his medal round my neck. My dad asked if she could have a photo of it round her neck, too."

Trott's prodigious talent saw her fast-tracked into an Olympic team alongside Wiggins, Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy, competing in London and winning two golds aged 20.

"Because of the way you see your idols, you think they're untouchable and you're never going to meet them," Trott said.

"I got thrown into an Olympic team and I was lucky enough to meet them and train with them. I learnt a lot.

"I remember the first time I stepped into track centre and Chris Hoy was there. For me, what he did in Beijing, he was massive after that.

"To know that somebody was so friendly and helpful, was just weird. Just really welcoming."