The British Olympic Association (BOA) has today announced the first five athletes selected to participate in Team GB’s Olympic Ambition Programme during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Ambition Programme, which is being supported by Proud Partner of London 2012 Lloyds TSB, will give approximately 185 young British athletes and coaches the unique opportunity to experience the Olympic Games environment at first hand.
The Programme focuses on athletes and coaches with the potential to compete at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games or the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Ambition Programme endeavours to inspire young athletes and coaches, and provide a performance legacy for Team GB from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
During the Programme, athletes and coaches will visit Team GB’s Preparation Camp at Loughborough University, where they will take part in kitting out and experience a multi-sport preparation environment. The participants will then travel to London where they will visit the Olympic Village, watch two Olympic competition sessions and experience the atmosphere at Team GB House in Westfield Stratford City.
The first five athletes named to participate in the Team GB Ambition Programme are all members of either the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes programme and as part of Lloyds Banking Group in Scotland, the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes programme which together have supported and funded some of the most talented emerging British athletes over the past few years. In partnership with the charity SportsAid, Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland have helped over 1,000 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls during the toughest stages of their sporting careers.
The five athletes named to the Olympic Ambition Programme today are:
Qais Ashfaq (Boxing, aged 18)
Chantelle Cameron (Boxing, aged 21)
Calum Irvine (Cross Country Skiing, aged 18)
Daniel Goodfellow (Diving, aged 15)
Lucy Garner (Road Cycling, aged 17)
The Ambition Programme was first delivered by the BOA at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, supported by Lloyds TSB, where those involved in the programme included Athletics World Championship silver medallist Hannah England and European bronze medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton, Triathlon world number two Jonathan Brownlee, Badminton World Championship silver medallists Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier, and Modern Pentathlon World Champion Mhairi Spence. All of these athletes will be hoping to use their experiences from Beijing to help them achieve their personal best with Team GB at their first Olympic Games as a competitor this summer.
British Athletes Commission Chair and Ambition Programme Director Sarah Winckless said: “I couldn’t be more excited to be heading up this programme. To be able to contribute to these athletes development at this point in their career is a real privilege. To be able to work with both summer and winter sports for the first time will bring real diversity to the programme and I know these athletes and coaches will benefit from experiencing the Olympic environment, learning from our Olympic Ambassadors and sharing their experiences.”
Sally Hancock, Director, London 2012 Partnership, Lloyds Banking Group said: “We are delighted to have supported and funded 1,000 emerging athletes and future stars of Team GB and ParalympicsGB on their journey to London 2012 and beyond through our Local Heroes programme and we hope that this support will help our GB teams succeed at the Games. Since becoming the first partner of London 2012 in 2007 we are proud to once again support the Ambition Programme following our involvement in the successful Beijing 2008 programme and we are thrilled to now be cheering these athletes on as they benefit from their 2008 experience competing in London 2012 in just a few weeks time.”
Bank of Scotland Local Hero Calum Irvine, attending the Ambition Programme, said: “I am really lucky to be part of the Ambition Programme and I’m looking forward to experiencing the Team GB Preparation Camp and the Olympic Park first hand. I’ve always been inspired by watching athletes compete at a high level, so to go to the London 2012 Games as part of this programme is a dream come true. I can’t wait to cheer on Team GB and hope it will stand me in good stead as I aim to join Team GB myself in the future.”
To celebrate our locally grown sporting talent and get behind the Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland Local Heroes near you, find out more at www.lloydstsb.com/localheroes or www.bankofscotland.co.uk/localheroes.
Lloyds TSB and London 2012:
Lloyds TSB is the exclusive Banking & Insurance Partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and partner of the London 2012 ticketing programme and the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays. The Bank is committed to inspire and support young people, businesses and communities across Britain in the lead up to London 2012. For more information on how Lloyds TSB is helping take the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to all corners of Britain, visit: www.lloydstsb.com/london2012
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes:
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, is an innovative and practical initiative which is supporting the future stars of Team GB and Paralympics GB on their journey to London 2012 and beyond. The Lloyds TSB Local Heroes programme has a national reach with local impact, supporting athletes from across England and Wales with awards of £1,000 to help with the costs of training and competing at national and international level and as recognition of their emerging talent.
All Lloyds TSB Local Heroes are identified by the experts, the National Governing Bodies of Olympic and Paralympic sports; they have proven talent and potential and meet criteria set out by SportsAid.
In 2012 there are 264 Lloyds TSB Local Heroes in England and Wales. In Scotland, the programme will operate as the Bank of Scotland Local Heroes, with 82 athletes supported.
Of the 1,000 Lloyds TSB Local Heroes supported since the initiative began in 2008, 58 Local Heroes have graduated to a senior Great Britain team. In 2011, seven Local Heroes represented Great Britain at the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey; 11 Local Heroes competed at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games on the Isle of Man, winning 19 medals between them. So far, 23 Local Heroes, past and present, have been selected to compete for Team GB or ParalympicsGB in London 2012. www.lloydstsb.com/localheroes
Bank of Scotland and London 2012:
Bank of Scotland, as part of Lloyds Banking Group, is Proud Partner for Scotland of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and partner of the London 2012 ticketing programme and the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays. The Bank is committed to inspire and support young people, businesses and communities across Scotland in the lead up to London 2012. For more information on how Bank of Scotland is helping take the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to all corners of Scotland, visit: www.bankofscotland.co.uk/localheroes
SportsAid is the charity for sports people, helping the next generation of British sportsmen and women to succeed. Many of Britain’s most successful sportsmen and women have been helped by SportsAid early in their career, including cyclist Sir Chris Hoy MBE, rower Katherine Grainger MBE, gymnast Louis Smith, diver Tom Daley and heptathlete Jessica Ennis MBE. SportsAid is a registered charity no.1111612. For more information visit www.sportsaid.org.uk