Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won TeamGB’s first gold of the 2012 Olympic Games having learnt to row as part of a successful GB Rowing Team development scheme based at the University of Bath.
That scheme is still active and last week tested more than 30 students and local people who thought they might have what it takes to get to the top in Olympic sport. More testing is available and anyone interested who is over 5’10” for women and 6’1” for men should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Meanwhile, two more rowers, Katherine Grainger and Paralympic Champion Naomi Riches, have today backed UK Sport’s latest search for talented women in another sport, canoeing.
They are promoting Girlds4Gold: Canoeing. This scheme is seeking focused, powerful and motivated athletes who want to fulfil their Olympic or Paralympic ambition.
Katherine Grainger CBE said of the scheme hoping to identify talent in time for the 2020 Games in Tokyo said:: “I completely fell into rowing, it was never the plan, I never thought it was the sport for me; I didn’t even start until I went to University but I just loved the challenge of it.
“If you’re thinking about signing up for Girls4Gold, or hearing about it has sparked something inside you and there’s a little bit of hunger there, just go for it!”
Girls4Gold: Canoeing is aimed at athletic females aged 15-17 who compete at regional standard and motivated, high-performing women aged 18-25 who compete at national standard, in any sport, and believe they can achieve Olympic success.
Natalie Dunman, Head of Performance Pathways at UK Sport, said: “Girls4Gold is an ambitious programme to fast track outstanding female talent in to Olympic and Paralympic sport beginning with canoeing.
“We are looking for female athletes who have the drive and ambition to fulfil their sporting potential with the ultimate aim of becoming part of a World Class Programme and achieving medals on the international stage.
“Our experience tells us there are people out there with the potential to be Olympic or Paralympic champions but they may not have had the opportunity to connect with the right sport or have the necessary support network to succeed.”
Naomi Riches said: “I’d been in a boat a few times at college and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was when I won gold at the World Championships in 2004 that I really caught the bug and going on to compete at the Paralympic Games in London was incredible. If being in sport at the top level is a dream of yours, why not give Girls4Gold a go? You never know where it’s going to take you!”
Skeleton athlete Lizzy Yarnold who is part of British Skeleton’s elite programme based at the University of Bath is also an ambassador for this programme.
For further information and the application form visit: www.uksport.gov.uk/talent, with the application process closing at midnight on Sunday 15th December 2013.