December 1 - The British Olympic Association (BOA) have announced that it will deliver the Team GB Ambition Programme at the London 2012 Games with the help of Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry after they were today unveiled as Official Ambassadors for Team GB and Paralympics GB at London 2012.

The programme itself will focus on athletes and coaches who aspire to represent Team GB at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Athletes and coaches from all 35 sports on the Olympic Programme for Sochi and Rio will be eligible for the Team GB Ambition Programme with participants to be nominated by their respective National Governing Bodies.

Approximately 200 athletes and coaches will be selected to take part in the programme, which will be directed by Sarah Winckless, the BOA Athletes' Commission chair and Athens 2004 Olympic bronze medallist in rowing.

Oversight for the programme will be provided by the BOA director of sport Sir Clive Woodward, with further support from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

"Athletes and coaches who have succeeded in the Olympic Games often reflect upon the importance of being aware of the complexities and pressures of the Games environment, and having confidence in knowing how to deal with those challenges," said BOA chief executive Andy Hunt.

"That's what this programme is all about: supporting British athletes and coaches at the highest level of international sport by providing an invaluable introduction to the Olympic environment.

"We are particularly pleased to draw upon the experience and inspiration of Sarah Winckless and our Team GB Ambassadors, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry."

The Team GB Ambition Programme aims to provide practical insight into the unique aspects of the Olympics, to inspire young athletes and their coaches to continue pursuing their ambitions, to develop greater awareness and understanding of the Olympic Values and to foster communication and a commitment amongst participants.

Programme participants will begin their journey with a two-day stay at the Team GB Prep Camp at Loughborough University, where they will take part in a Team GB orientation session, Olympic education programmes and their own version of 'kitting out'.

From there, the participants will travel to London for three days of hands-on experience in the Olympic Games environment, including two sessions of sport competition (including, where possible, their own sport), a behind-the-scenes tour of Team GB House, and inspirational presentations from Team GB Ambassadors.

The participants will be housed at Queen Mary University (pictured), where most members of the Team GB support staff for London 2012 will reside.

The final element of the programme will be a one-day workshop following the Olympic Games, during which participants will reflect upon and share their experiences, and develop strategies to share the knowledge and understanding gained with others in their sport.

"The Olympic Games environment is unlike anything else in sport," said Winckless.

"The Team GB Ambition Programme is instrumental in providing aspiring Olympians with the understanding and confidence they need to navigate the Olympic environment and ultimately, succeed on the field of play."

The Team GB Ambition Programme was introduced in conjunction with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and proved to be highly successful.

The inaugural programme included 152 athletes and coaches across every sport on the Summer Games programme.

Among the aspiring Olympians who participated in the 2008 programme and are now vying for positions on Team GB for London 2012 are triathlete Jonathan Brownlee, middle distance runner Hannah England, table tennis player Paul Drinkhall, gymnast Sam Oldham and weightlifter Zoe Smith.

By Tom Degun

Source: www.insidethegames.biz


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