Free gym access for Olympic hopeful from North Walsham

Promising young hammer thrower Callum Brown has been given free gym membership to help him achieve his dream of becoming a future Olympic champion.

The 18-year-old from North Walsham is currently the English Schools Champion and Commonwealth Youth Games Champion 2011 and is ranked 4th under-20 in the world.

To help Callum achieve his Olympic ambition, North Norfolk District Council and DC Leisure have given him free use of North Walsham's Victory Swim and Fitness Centre for six months.

Callum said: 'It will make a big difference to not have to pay for membership. The money I do have has to go on things that are necessary, like petrol. It means a lot to be able to train without worrying about the cost.'

Tom FitzPatrick, deputy leader of North Norfolk District Council said, 'The district council is committed to showing strong support for athletes in the local community to help them reach their potential. I have been active in sport as a competitor, coach and official and believe it is an ideal way for young people to make the most of their abilities.'

Callum became hooked on hammer throwing six years ago when he was offered the chance to try it out at the City of Norwich Athletics Club, where he is a member. It involves spinning to gain momentum before launching a 6kg hammer as far as possible.

The sport requires a mixture of speed, strength and technique. Before an event, Callum trains up to three hours per day. He follows a high protein diet and spends much of his preparation time weight training to increase his strength.

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With another year to go before he becomes a senior competitor, Callum can already throw the hammer 73 metres. The world record is 86 metres and this year's British Olympic entry Alexander Smith threw 72.87 metres to be placed 12 in the competition.

Callum has also won a sports scholarship to attend Minnesota University from next August, where he will have access to top-class coaching and facilities.