Team GB race walker names Yorkshire ‘the hub of race walking’ ahead of new walking festival

Tom Bosworth and fiance Harry Dineley
Tom Bosworth and fiance Harry Dineley
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An Olympic race walker whose “second home” is Yorkshire is encouraging the people of Sheffield to get involved with Sheffield Walking Festival from 10 - 18 September.

Tom Bosworth, 26, came 6th in the 20km race walk at the Rio Olympics this summer.

The race walker is originally from Sevenoaks, Kent, but moved to Headingley, Leeds, seven years ago.

Bosworth said Yorkshire has become “the hub of race walking” because of the coaching quality at City of Sheffield & Dearne Athletic Club in Sheffield and the National Race Walking Centre in Leeds.

He added: “I love Yorkshire so much. I love being in the city centre of Leeds. A couple of miles in the other direction is the Yorkshire Dales.

“The wind and the rain doesn’t always help. But they love sport in Yorkshire, they really love it.”

Tom Bosworth with 20k race walk bronze medal winner Dane Bird-Smith at the Rio Olympics in 2016

Tom Bosworth with 20k race walk bronze medal winner Dane Bird-Smith at the Rio Olympics in 2016

Bosworth is the most successful British Olympic race walker since 1972 but there are many more up-and-coming athletes to look out for.

Sheffield race walker Ana Garcia won the 5k under 17 race walk in the England Athletics Age Group Championships on 28 August at Bedford International Stadium.

Also, 19-year-old Callum Wilkinson from Suffolk won gold in the 10k walk at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Poland this year.

Bosworth's top tips for fitting in time for walking are to ask yourself: “Do you have to drive to work? Can you cycle? Can you walk? Can you get up five minutes earlier?”

Ana Garcia in the women's 3k race walk final at the Indoor British Championships at the EIS in Sheffield in February.

Ana Garcia in the women's 3k race walk final at the Indoor British Championships at the EIS in Sheffield in February.

"It can be really relaxing just going for a walk. 30 minutes can do wonders to your body and mind."

There will be 28 walks over nine days this month as part of Sheffield Walking Festival running from 10 - 18 September.

Walks vary from the challenging 15-mile Sheffield Round Walk to a family-friendly tour of Heeley City Farm.

In 1932 a group of 200 people trespassed on the then-private land to demonstrate and allow the moors to become public land for walkers.

Tom Bosworth training for the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Credit: Edward Pascoe

Tom Bosworth training for the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Credit: Edward Pascoe

To mark 84 years since the Abbey Brook Mass Trespass the festival will end with a walk across the moors in north-west Sheffield on Sunday 18 September.