Corby-based Olympian says she's made her 'best mates' in the town as she steps into Tokyo limelight
Charlotte Worthington is competing on her BMX for Olympic glory
A world-class BMXer who moved to Corby to take advantage of the town's top-class skatepark facilities has said she made great friends here while training at Adrenaline Alley.
Charlotte Worthington, who is a real Team GB medal hope in Tokyo, came to Corby alone to live and train here ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, which kick off this weekend.
The 21-year-old, who is originally from Manchester, spent lockdown training hard in a deserted Adrenaline Alley training alongside fellow Olympic BMX riders Declan Brooks from Portsmouth and James Jones from Swansea, who will go to Tokyo as reserve.
Charlotte was training to become a chef when she heard that BMX Freestyle was going to be an Olympic sport for the first time in Tokyo. In 2019 she took the inaugural British and European titles, before she become the first ever British woman to win a world medal in the sport when she won a bronze medal at the world championships in Chengdu.
She said: "There’s going to be no foreign spectators at Tokyo, so it’s a real shame that my own friends and family can’t come out.
"I know they’ll be supporting back home but I’m definitely going to miss them out there. To remind myself of them, I’m probably just going to bring loads of special pictures and videos on my phone. Some music that I love that will remind me of being back home and just plug in my headphones and get absorbed in that.
“I actually live on my own in Corby where I moved to to train, so I don’t live near my family at all. So I have a bunch of friends there and Covid brought us closer together, in having nothing else to do and I’d usually be travelling a lot. I actually got to spend a lot more time with them and in doing that they’ve become my best mates. I spent Christmas with them so they’ve definitely been my saving grace.”
Adrenaline Alley was founded by inspirational Corby woman Mandy Young MBE who was looking for somewhere safe for her son John Chard-Young to hand out after he suffered a bout of bullying. After opening a skatepark at Rockingham Speedway she moved to larger premises at Priors Haw Road and now the Alley is Europe's biggest indoor skatepark and attracts 60,000 visits per year. It is now home to the BMX riders of British Cycling Team GB.
Ahead of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, Charlotte is among a number of Team GB athletes urging the nation to come together again for the next big sporting event, by taking part in Game On - Team GB and the British Red Cross’ Olympic fundraising challenge during the games.
Game On asks the public to set themselves a challenge to complete in the 17 days of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games from Friday 23 July to Sunday 8 August, whether that’s sprinting lengths of your local park, taking on a heptathlon in your back garden or completing a one-minute plank for every medal won by Team GB athletes.
The British Red Cross is Team GB’s first ever charity partner and the money raised will go towards the charity’s vital work supporting communities in the UK hit hard by the pandemic.
Mike Adamson, British Red Cross Chief Executive said: “With family and friends unable to travel with them to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the restriction on spectators, it’s more important than ever that we as a nation get behind Team GB athletes from home soil.
“It’s amazing to see so much enthusiasm for Game On from both Team GB athletes and the public. People have already come up with some extraordinarily fun and creative challenges – from learning to do a back flip to baking gold medal cupcakes to give out to people on their street. It’s going to be a very exciting 17 days, cheering on Team GB and showing our support from the side lines by taking part in Game On.”
To sign up to Game On click hereCharlotte, Declan and James begin their road to Olympic glory in the Women's and Men's Freestyle BMX competitions next Saturday (July 31).