Michael Johnson's charity will aim to help provide young people with the tools they need to fulfil their potential through sport ©Positive Track

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson has launched a global charity Positive Track, which aims to provide young people from around the world with the tools they need to fulfil their potential through sport.

The initiative will look to provide a programme which empowers, educates and supports 12 specially selected participants, who have tackled some of society’s toughest challenges head-on.

Based at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Dallas, an intensive course, due to take place from May 14 to 21, will provide support to enhance their sport performance skills and receive in-depth leadership training.

The participants will also be given time and support to develop their ideas about how they can contribute to their communities and make a genuine difference to the lives of other young people when they return back home.

“These young people are already doing incredible things in their communities,” said Johnson, the men’s 400 metres world record holder.

“We have a participant who is dodging bullets in order to provide sports training for young girls and we have a participant who is campaigning the United Kingdom government for better access to disability sport.

“They are truly inspiring and have shown me the incredible plans they have for their communities, but which they need help to implement, we will be here to give them that help and cannot wait to see what they can achieve.”

“It is our hope that successful young people from Positive Track will become community leaders, or be the first of their family to go to college, or start their own sports charity or clubs.”

Freya Levy has been selected as one of 12 participants in the first year of the programme
Freya Levy has been selected as one of 12 participants in the first year of the programme ©Positive Track

Armenia, Brazil, Cambodia, Kenya, India, Mexico, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda and the United Kingdom are all represented on the first year’s intake, with the participants having tackled issues such as gender discrimination, domestic abuse or poverty.

The young leaders were selected by Johnson and a panel of experts in youth leadership, sport and social change, with the selection process having been carried out in partnership with Coaches Across Continents, a global charity which trains local community leaders to use sport as a tool for social change.

“To go to an elite top level performance centre and learn from a former Olympic legend such as Michael Johnson is an incredible opportunity,” said Freya Levy, who has overcame muscular dystrophy to represent Britain at wheelchair basketball.

“I’m hoping the lessons I can learn will help me as I continue to pursue accessibility for disabled sport back in the UK.

“There is so much more I want to do in this area and I am so excited that Michael Johnson Positive Track will help me achieve it.”

Following the intensive course, the participants will having a personalised 12-month plan, where they will receive state-of-the-art virtual sports training sessions designed by Michael Johnson Performance Center, which will be aimed at continuing their leadership development.

After the completion of the year, they will continue to receive support as alumni of the programme, providing them with network, profile, and tangible education and employment opportunities.