Former Olympic silver medallist Lutalo Muhammad grateful for chance to give back

·2-min read
Lutalo Muhammad at Team England Futures camp in Birmingham

Double Olympic medallist Lutalo Muhammad has taken great satisfaction from the mentoring work he has done as part of the Team England Futures programme, writes Matt Wright.

The initiative, which is run by charity SportsAid and funded by Sport England, has given over 800 young athletes and aspiring support staff the chance to attend the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham to gain experience of a multi-sport event.

As well as having a tour around the athletes’ village and witnessing a variety of sports, they were also given a behind-the-scenes look at some of the other facilities made available to competitors.

Walthamstow’s taekwondo star Muhammad, 31, was on hand to provide his insight of competing at such an event to the athletes, which includes winning a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and bronze at London 2012.

Muhammad, who was funded by SportsAid when he was younger, said: “It’s massively rewarding. It does take you back to when I was in that position, which is kind of scary because it doesn’t seem that long ago.

“It’s wonderful to give some advice, give some tips or even put a hand around someone’s shoulder and let them know it’s going to be OK.

“All those things I would like to have had and all those things I did have are concerns I just want to pass on to the next generation, so hopefully we can have a future of great stars across England, Scotland and Wales.”

Muhammad is currently on a break from competing in taekwondo, with his last medal being the bronze he earned from the Swedish Open at the end of April.

This is after he made a great impression as a pundit with the BBC during last year’s Olympics in Tokyo, with injury cruelly denying him the chance to complete his set of medals at the Games.

When given the chance to clarify his status in the sport, Muhammad said: “I’m enjoying my rest now and I’m getting to do really cool things, like doing a bit more media stuff.

“We’ll see, I guess you can never say never, but for now I’m just enjoying a nice long rest – it’s been 11 years of non-stop fighting and we’ll see what the future holds.

“But for now, it’s all about Team England Futures and I’m happy to be here to inspire the next generation.

“I’m really happy and excited for those who are getting their opportunity to be here, although a bit jealous, I have to be brutally honest.”

Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. You can find out more about the programme by visiting https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.