SKIPPER by name, now a leader by nature.

Martyn Skipper, the head coach of Tower Shukokai Karate Club has been selected as one of JoininUK’s Local Leaders to help drive the London 2012 Olympic legacy.

The initiative aims to build on the success of the Games Makers of London 2012 and help promote and push sport at local level.

Skipper will be one of 250 local leaders across the country for the scheme that has backing of personalities from sport and entertainment - including Eddie Izzard and Olympic gold medal winners Jonathan Edwards, Rebecca Adlington and Jason Kenny.

JoinInUK, which is a registered charity and funded by the Big Lottery Fund was launched by former GB distance runner Dave Moorcroft - who is till the 3000m world record holder.

Skipper, and his fellow leaders, will be ‘inducted’ at the Velodrome in Manchester on Sunday, April 27 but he has already received a phone call from Moorcroft to thank him for his involvement.

“I will have a better idea of what my involvement will be once we have the induction,” said Skipper. “But this is something I am really looking forward to getting involved in.

“I had a lovely phone call from Dave Moorcroft who called me to thank me for getting involved.”

Skipper, 50, of Blacksnape, was awarded his Godan (5th Dan, or 5th level) black belt last year one of only a handful of instructors to have achieved this level in the country.

He was also crowned European veterans champion, along with a range of other titles which earned him the Lancashire Telegraph Grassroots Heroes senior sports personality of the year award.

Although his experience is in karate, he will be helping to a wide range of sports at grassroots level.

Local Leaders will hold weekly and monthly meetings to discuss arranging events - and Skipper is hoping to see one held in the East Lancashire area.

“The whole aim is to capture the spirit of the Olympic Games and coordinate sports participation through club networks across the community.

“It is exciting stuff and I can’t wait to get started.”