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Olympian on the search for talent

KEEN TO HELP: Christine Ohuruogu

OLYMPIC GOLD medallist Christine Ohuruogu recently backed a call to unearth future Olympians with an aptitude for speed and power.

The athletics star was joined by sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and England Sevens rugby players Tom Powell and Heather Fisher to launch the UK Talent Team (UK Sport and English Institute of Sport) initiative Power2Podium, the latest in a series of successful talent identification schemes.

The talent search is targeting sportsmen and women between the ages of 15 and 26 that possess the speed, power and raw talent to potentially represent GB at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Power2Podium will use the latest sports science and technology, along with coaching expertise, to test sporting potential and look to uncover the next generation of athletes in the predominantly speed and power sports of athletics, rugby sevens, bobsleigh and skeleton, canoeing, sprint cycling and weightlifting.

Ohuruogu, the 400m Olympic champion who discovered athletics late in her career having made a successful transition from netball, said: “Finding the next generation of Olympic athletes is so important for the continued success of sport in Britain.

“When I was growing up I loved playing lots of different sports and wasn’t sure whether I wanted to play netball or become a sprinter. Schemes like Power2Podium will really help talented young people fulfil their sporting potential.”

Chelsea Warr, Head of Athlete Development at UK Sport, said: “We are very excited about the potential of Power2Podium to uncover the sporting stars of tomorrow.

“We know that this approach to talent identification and development works and that there are people out there that have the potential to become an Olympian but they just don’t realise it yet.

“Power2Podium provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to come and train under the guidance of world class coaches and specialists in British elite sport before hopefully one day pulling on a British jersey at the Olympics.”

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