Olympic sprint star Linford Christie takes to the track in Sutton

..And ther off......Linford Christie starts the race  at the  Clare Rd  Street Ahletics in Sutton today
..And ther off......Linford Christie starts the race at the Clare Rd Street Ahletics in Sutton today

YOUNG athletes from Ashfield took to the race track with former Olympic sprint champion Linford Christie on Saturday.

Linford, who took gold at the 1992 games in Barcelona, headed to Ashfield School for the closing ceremony of the Active Ashfield Games event and handed out medals to the winners of nine different sports and activities.

Young people from Kirkby, Sutton, Selston and Hucknall competed in sports like netball, tag rugby, hockey and gymnastics.

And teams of eight also took part in a fun ‘It’s a Knock Out’-style competition.

Carol Hallam, sports development officer for Ashfield District Council, said: “Linford was amazed at the size of the games and all the activities we had on offer - he couldn’t believe it.

“He was great, he did everything we asked of him and more.”

The Active Ashfield Games had been officially opened by Coun May Barsby, chairman of Ashfield District Council, and Jenna Downing, world inline skating champion, after an opening parade of participants and volunteers.

Said Carol: “The Games has been a great success, mainly due to the commitment and hard work of our local clubs and volunteers. The presence of an Olympic champion made it even more special. We are all looking forward to an even bigger event in 2012.”

Sprint specialist Linford Christie was in the area to promote his Street Athletics programme, set up in partnership with fellow Olympic medalist Darren Campbell.

The Street Athletics event saw youngsters race each over 60 metres on Clare Road, Sutton. Racers were split into four age group categories for boys and girls.

Linford said: “We have seen thousands of young people taking part in races across the country.

“For us it began on the streets challenging other kids from other estates to race against us and if we hadn’t have done that we never would have got to where we are today.”