Sawyers sees progress for British Bobsleigh youth programme

08 December 2014 / 16:32

Jazmin Sawyers believes British Bobsleigh can fulfil its aim of winning two medals at the next Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 2016.

British Bobsleigh announced its plans to lead the way at the Games after launching its youth programme before any other competing country on Friday.

Sawyers won Team GB’s only medal at Innsbruck 2012, the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games, when she picked up silver with her teammate Mica McNeill.

However the 20-year-old is adamant the next cycle can prove far more rewarding for the next generation, Sawyers admitting the British Bobsleigh youth programme was integral to her development when she was part of the first set up four years ago.

“I’m confident this team will go out and do one better and win two medals,” said Sawyers, who won long jump silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“I think it’s in the best hands it could be and the fact they’ve already had a whole cycle of experience, they will have learnt from that. I just wish I could be on it as well!”

“The programme was incredibly important. It put me in a position where I was completely ready for what was to come.

“Having been a part of the whole youth Olympic programme meant that I knew better than most of my peers my age that went into senior competitions about how it was all going to work.

“The actual experience of competitions is another benefit, in that I got an experience competing at a major games before a lot of others.”

And British Bobsleigh’s performance director Gary Anderson stresses the importance of youth programmes such as this, arguing that they have increased interest and performance in the sport.

He said: “For the last four years it has been fantastic, the interest in that side of our programme has grown massively.

“The success in Innsbruck has helped and now we’re attracting extremely competent athletes into the programme. Some of these athletes are top sprinters for their age group in the country.

“I want Great Britain to be the leading nation at the Youth Olympic Games. With this group of athletes and the coaches we have that is certainly possible.”

© Sportsbeat 2014