FEMALE athletes throughout the borough are set to benefit from a new £9,000 sponsorship deal.

The South London Women and Girls Athletics Partnership, based jointly at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre and South Bank University, signed the deal with Aqua-Pura to develop future female champions over the next three years.

Olympic 800m bronze medallist Kelly Holmes OBE, who will launch the new scheme at South Bank University on November 24, said: “After the success of British women in Sydney, I feel it is right to help identify and develop talented female athletes in this country.

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“By doing this we can hopefully encourage more women to participate in athletics and direct the athletes of today to become the champions of tomorrow.”