Sir Chris Hoy: Laura Kenny the perfect role model for the next generation

As the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham draws to a close, Sir Chris Hoy has heralded cyclist Laura Kenny as the perfect role model to get kids active.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Kenny took gold in the women’s scratch race in Birmingham just hours after she considered quitting the sport altogether after recent battles with illness and injury hampered her performance.

Hoy was speaking when the National Lottery released a study showing that 80 percent of parents say the presence of athletic role models can play a key role in encouraging their children to be more active.

“From a cycling perspective, I thought Laura Kenny did a great job, she’s had a really tough year,” said the six-time Olympic champion.

“And she was so honest in her post-race interview, just an incredibly open and heartfelt interview after her gold medal-winning performance.

“She’s been an important part of the British team for so long but it was great to see her win a medal for England.

“I loved watching Eilish McColgan win the 10,000m in track and field. I was a big fan of her mother [Liz McColgan]I saw her mother win in 1986 when I was only ten years old, so when I was a kid.

“To be inspired by a Scottish gold medal and the Commonwealth Games in my hometown of Edinburgh and then to see your daughter win the same event was very special.”

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It’s no surprise that Hoy, who was a two-time Commonwealth Games velodrome champion, chose two women as inspiration, with the study also showing that 84 percent of parents thought it was important for young girls to see positive female sporting role models to encourage them to be more active.

Proud Scot Hoy was nonetheless able to celebrate the positive effect England’s EURO Champion Lionesses will have on young children getting active and believes parkrun is the perfect place for them to channel that inspiration.

Parkrun, the UK’s largest mass participation community event, has benefited from over £3.6 million in National Lottery funding to date as it encourages people of all abilities and ages to walk, jog, run and play at their local events every weekend to volunteer.

Hoy added: “It’s important and recent research has shown that parents feel that sporting role models and television can really encourage their children to be more active.

“You had the Lionesses in football, you had the Commonwealth Games, you have the upcoming European Championships, all these ways to inspire kids.

“And then you often think carefully about how I can help my children to get out and be active, where I can take them, what sporting events, what sporting activities and you don’t have to spend a lot of money.

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“There are parkruns that are all over the country, you can find a local parkrun, you can take the kids there, it’s free.

“These are remarkable examples of how you can get out there and get active and use the inspiration your kids have had to get them on the road.”

The National Lottery and parkrun have joined forces to encourage people across the UK to take part in their local parkrun this weekend. For more information and your local parkrun event go to

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