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Sky Sports Living for Sport unveils 2009/2010 Athlete Mentors available for school visits

Sky Sports Living for Sport unveils 2009/2010 Athlete Mentors

Gold medal winners and champions from the worlds of athletics, boxing, gymnastics and BMX are among the sports stars available to inspire and motivate 11-16 year olds as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme.  

Now in its seventh year, Sky Sports Living for Sport is a free online programme developed by the Youth Sport Trust in partnership with Sky Sports to provide schools with the chance to create flexible and tailored projects that uses the power of sport to reach out to different young people and help them realise their potential.

Playing an integral part in the delivery of the initiative is the offer of a school visit by one of a selection of Athlete Mentors, who have been handpicked by the Youth Sport Trust based on their inspiring personal journeys to achieve success.

During the visits, for which participating schools register via, the Athlete Mentors will share their own experiences as a young person and an athlete to illustrate what is possible in life to support the work being done by teachers and show the pupils how they can be the best they can be.

Gail Emms, part of the most successful Great Britain badminton partnership and a star of Olympic, World and Commonwealth Championships, explained: "I am excited and honoured to be continuing in my role as Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport. Through my own involvement, I have first hand experience of how finding something you are passionate about can open the doors to success. It has been a privilege to have been involved in the project over the last year. I hope that my continued involvement will encourage young people to follow their dreams and seek to be the best that they can be."

The athletes, 10 of which are new for 2009/2010, will parallel the British Athletes' Commissions "Six Keys to Success" with the lives of the pupils by instilling values such as belief, determination, people skills and time management.

Steve Grainger, Chief Executive, Youth Sport Trust comments: "We're delighted that we have such a talented and motivating pool of athletes to support our programme this year. They are an inspiring group of individuals who are already looking forward to visiting schools, sharing their personal stories and playing big role in supporting the work of teachers to encourage pupils to embark on their own journeys of development."

Supported by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, Sky Sports Living for Sport can be used by schools to address four key areas to support different groups of young people they might want to work with: Improving young people's health and well being, developing their self esteem and self worth, increasing attainment and achievement or helping to inspire them to reach their full potential.

Through the project, pupils take part in a range of sporting activities to help achieve personal goals. As they develop their skills and confidence, they also get the chance to create a sports event themselves.

To date, 20,000 young people in over 600 schools have benefited since the programme began in 2003 and over 200 schools have already signed up this year. The ambition of the project is for 2,000 schools and 30,000 young people to register with Sky Sports Living for Sport by 2012 and to build the activities into curricular and extra curricular activities.

Schools, community centres and organisations which would like to learn more about how to become involved in Sky Sports Living for Sport are invited to register their school on the Living for Sport website.

This year's 16 athletes for 2009/2010 are:

  • Steve Brown, Great British wheelchair rugby player
  • Darren Campbell, Olympic gold medal sprinter
  • Chris Cook, World, Olympic and European swimming finalist
  • Alex Danson, Member of the GB women's hockey squad
  • Tom Davis, Commonwealth judo champion
  • Gail Emms, Olympic badminton silver medallist
  • Dermot Gascoyne, Boxer
  • Joe Glanfield, Olympic sailing silver medallist
  • Steve Frew, Commonwealth gymnastics gold medallist
  • Chris Horsman, Ex-Wales rugby prop
  • Darran Langley, Silver Commonwealth boxing medallist
  • Rachael MacKenzie, World women's Thai-boxing champion
  • Nicola Minichiello, World bobsleigh champion
  • Mike Mullen, World BMX champion
  • Tim Prendergast, Paralympian athlete
  • Katy Storie, England women's rugby player and European champion
  • Adam Whitehead, Olympic Great British swimmer