A GOLD medallist has revealed his dreams for the next generation of would-be world athletes as he prepares to compete in the town centre he grew up next to.

Richard Kilty spent his childhood just metres away from Stockton High Street, living in a council estate nestled behind the Splash swimming pool.

Since then, the 29-year-old track and field sprinter has become a European champion, world champion and Olympian.

With British Athletics competition looming this weekend, Kilty took time out of his training schedule to get the Great North CityGames off the starting blocks.

The event, which includes the Simplyhealth Great Tees Junior and Mini Run for children, will bring world-class athletics to the heart of Stockton for the first time ever in September.

They are both part of the wider Simplyhealth Great North Run weekend – the world’s biggest half marathon – which takes place on Tyneside the following day.

Kilty was joined by former long-distance runner and ex-BBC broadcaster Brendan Foster CBE, who founded the Great North Run, as well as retired Olympic long jumper Chris Tomlinson, to announce entries are open for the Simplyhealth Great Tees 10K.

“For the kids to come and see world-class athletes right on their doorstep, literally in the town centre they’ll come to a couple of times a week with their parents and friends – for them to be in touching distance, that’s amazing,” said Kilty.

“Especially for someone like myself, I grew up here, just like them. I’m a council estate kid from Stockton and I became a world champion, a European champion, and an Olympian.

“There are other kids from Teesside who can do that and hopefully these games inspire at least one of them to take up sport and it gives them the dream and the motivation to grow up to become great, which they all can – that’s an amazing legacy.

“It’s a huge thing for me at this stage in my career to be able to inspire the next generation. If I can inspire them in any way possible then that’s going to make me feel very proud.”

Thousands of spectators are expected to turn out for the Great North CityGames on September 7 as Stockton High Street is transformed into a track and field arena.

The games, brought to the Tees Valley in a partnership between the Great Run Company, Tees Valley Combined Authority and Stockton Borough Council, will be broadcast live on BBC One.