Following the excitement of the one-year-to-go celebrations this week, the British Olympic Association (BOA) today revealed its plans to motivate the next generation of British Olympic athletes and sport leaders by distributing approximately 5,000 London 2012 Olympic tickets to promising British athletes and young people involved in Olympic sport development across the UK through the London 2012 Ticketshare scheme.
The tickets are funded by way of a levy on London 2012 Prestige Ticketing hospitality tickets and will be offered at no cost to the young recipients. As with all tickets to the Olympic Games, the tickets will include access to transport in London (Zones 1-9) at no cost.
The BOA will allocate approximately 800 tickets to outstanding young athletes from both winter and summer Olympic sports that have strong potential of competing for Team GB at future Olympic Games. This will include all athletes who represented Team GB in the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festivals, and the upcoming winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in January 2012.
Around 3,500 tickets will be distributed to young people aged 18–26 that are participating in sport development in the UK. The individuals will be nominated to the BOA by the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of both winter and summer Olympic sports, who will provide a 150 word description of how the individuals demonstrate the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect in their sport activity.
The young recipients nominated by the NGBs may include athletes, coaches, volunteers, technical officials, administrators and others who have dedicated themselves to the organisation and development of their sport at club level. Accompanying many of these young people will be up to 700 distinguished British Olympians from previous Games, who will serve to inspire and educate the young people they attend with.
Wherever possible, the BOA will work to ensure that the young athletes and young sport developers receiving tickets will attend a session of their own sport.
The programme has been developed with input from the BOA Athletes’ Commission and the Olympians Club, which represents British Olympians from previous Olympic Games.
Earlier this year, the BOA announced that it will provide all Team GB Olympians from previous Games, both summer and winter, with the opportunity to purchase four tickets to London 2012 sessions. For the special group of London 1948 Olympians, two tickets will be provided at no cost.
Andy Hunt, Team GB Chef de Mission and BOA CEO said:
“We believe it is vitally important that the Games succeed in motivating the next generation to participate in sport and to instil the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect. We hope that our programme delivered via the excellent Ticketshare initiative will play a part in making this important goal a reality.”
“The combination of visiting the London 2012 Olympic venues and the involvement of our distinguished Olympians from previous Games will undoubtedly provide the young athletes and sport support staff with great inspiration and an unforgettable experience to drive forward their ambitions for their future sporting careers.
“I hope that many of the athletes involved in this programme will use the experience gained in London to help them on their journeys towards Sochi 2014, Rio 2016 and beyond.”
Seb Coe, London 2012 Chairman and Double Olympic Gold Medallist said:
“The London 2012 Ticketshare scheme will see thousands of tickets donated to worthy recipients thanks to a levy placed on our Prestige hospitality packages – it’s a groundbreaking scheme and one we are very proud of. We are delighted that the British Olympic Association is helping us distribute these tickets – getting these tickets into the hands of people in sport and tomorrow’s heroes is exactly what we had in mind when we launched the scheme.”
Sir Steve Redgrave, Five Time Olympic Gold Medallist said:
“The opportunity presented to the young athletes and sports persons who will receive tickets through this scheme is truly a once in a lifetime experience. It is a fantastic idea to pair the young people with Olympians who can provide them with guidance and inspiration from their personal Olympic experience.
“Throughout my 20 year Olympic career I greatly appreciated the support that coaches, volunteers, officials and so many others provided me with along the journey, so it is absolutely right that the next generation of sport leaders and workers are recognised and rewarded in this programme.”
Sarah Winckless, BOA Athletes’ Commission Chairman said:
“This is a great initiative and will benefit the future of British Olympic sport. Going into an Olympic venue for the first time is an unforgettable experience, having a distinguished Olympian alongside you to give advice and knowledge is an opportunity that money can’t buy.”
British javelin Huw Bevan, 16 years old, competing this week at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey said:
"It's fantastic news that we're going to get tickets to the London 2012 Olympics. I applied for about ten different events and didn't get everything I wanted, so to get a ticket through the Ticketshare scheme is immense."