23 February 2012>
The London 2012 medal rush has already begun in Caerphilly after almost 150 young people from across the county borough gathered together recently to celebrate the launch of the Bronze Young Ambassador programme.
The Young Ambassador programme was launched nationwide in 2006, recruiting hundreds of young people across Wales to promote participation in sport and to encourage their peers to live more healthy lifestyles.
Platinum Young Ambassador for Caerphilly, Abbey Gutteridge, explains why sharing her experiences in the programme with the new younger ambassadors is especially important this year.
She said, "With less than six months to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games, as a Young ambassador I am pushing the Olympic and Paralympic Values more than ever before. Having been able to inspire the younger ambassadors and share my journey and experiences with them, London 2012 is starting to become more real.
Abbey continued, "It's important also to raise awareness about the Olympic Legacy and ensure that those who are involved in all ways possible throughout Caerphilly promote all their good work during and 2012 and certainly beyond. The Olympic Torch Relay will certainly bring a great atmosphere to Caerphilly and with the hope that it inspires the borough to get behind Team GB and support them for the whole duration throughout the Olympic and Paralympics Games.
While the initiative is managed by the Youth Sport Trust with Adidas and LOCOG, in Wales it is delivered in partnership between Sport Wales, local authorities and schools.
Professor Laura McAllister - Chair of Sport Wales said, "We are in a very exciting and unique time. As we build up to London 2012, sport in this country will receive more profile and publicity than ever. We've also got the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 so the coverage doesn't stop after next year".
She continued, "As Young Ambassadors, these young pupils have the opportunity to promote, develop and sell the benefits of sport in their school and community and have been picked out as having the potential to make a positive difference".
The latest recruits of the scheme will be charged with supporting their fellow ambassadors, like Abbey, in promoting the Olympic and Paralympic Games with the hope that it will inspire others to get involved in sport.
Natalie Horne, Active Young People Co-ordinator for Caerphilly added, "Young Ambassadors is a great way of empowering young people to help shape the future of sport provision and to have an impact on participation levels. We have really pushed the scheme in the county with the belief that it can help us get more young people hooked on sport for life.
"With so many new faces being brought on board we want to inspire them to do the best job they can so that they can make the biggest difference."
For further information on the Young Ambassadors programme visit www.youngambassadorswales.org.uk or, alternatively, www.youthsporttrust.org
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