Suffolk Sporting Ambassadors
When it was originally announced that London would be the host city for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it was awarded on the promise that London 2012 would inspire a generation and 'reach young people all around the world and connect them to the inspirational power of the Games so they are inspired to choose sport'. This promise was made on the basis that sport changes lives, opens doors to self-empowerment, health, inclusion, excellence or simply the joy of participation.
London 2012 duly delivered inspirational moments aplenty, with twelve athletes from Suffolk playing their part and becoming role models for the next generation. Collectively Team GB athletes demonstrated that amazing results are possible with hard work and application.
Suffolk Sporting Ambassadors aims to provide schools and community groups in the county with access to Suffolk's elite athletes as a way of inspiring our young people and, in line with the aspirations of the county's 'Raising the Bar' initiative, help raise attainment and aspiration amongst young people in Suffolk. Young people being inspired to develop a habit of being physically active for life will support to become the 'Most Active County'.
Outline of how the scheme will work
Through a simple online process schools, clubs, community groups and not-for-profit organisations from the county will be able to request an athlete from a stable of elite Suffolk athletes. Groups will be able to select from two categories of athlete:
Gold Ambassadors - athletes that have consistently achieved international recognition in their sport at senior level, including athletes that have represented Team GB at the Olympic or Paralympic Games, or have achieved extraordinary results.
Silver Ambassadors - athletes that are the 'stars of the future' and have consistently achieved international recognition in their sport at junior level, often balancing school work with training and competing at an elite level.
Athlete visits will last up to 4 hours in duration and can be structured to ensure the group benefits fully from their visit. This may include school assemblies, Q&A sessions, prize givings, an involvement in practical sessions with specific groups, autograph signing sessions and so on.
The Suffolk Sporting Ambassador Scheme aims to provide affordable access to inspirational athletes whilst, at the same time, raising money to help the next generation of athletes from Suffolk (through the Suffolk SportsAid Foundation) and also ensuring the athlete isn't out of pocket.
The cost for a Gold Ambassador is £175.