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- 03 November 2013 00:00
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UK Sport have launched a new Girls4Gold talent identification programme to unearth powerful and motivated female athletes in the community that could potentially go on to become future Olympic and Paralympic stars.
Girls4Gold is the single most extensive female talent recruitment drive ever undertaken in Great Britain.
London 2012 Olympic rowing champion Katherine Grainger is amongst the successful sportswomen backing Girls4Gold after she won gold alongside teammate Anna Watkins at the Games last year in the double sculls.
"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,” said Grainger.
"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!”
Together with UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport (The Performance Pathway Team), GB Canoeing has launched Girls4Gold: Canoeing, the first in what will be a series of Girls4Gold campaigns.
The aim of the project is to discover athletes who have what it takes to transfer into a new sport and compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
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.
"Girls4Gold is an exciting opportunity for GB Canoeing to work in partnership with UK Sport and the EIS to capitalise on the successes we had at the London 2012 Olympic Games,” said GB Canoeing Performance Director John Anderson.
"Whilst we have some outstandingly talented women already in our sport, as we look beyond Rio and onto Tokyo we want to build greater strength and depth in our talent pool so we can challenge for more medals in more events by 2020.”
The Performance Pathway Team has run nine national athlete recruitment projects assessing over 7,000 athletes who were previously unknown to the UK World Class system.
These projects have resulted in over 100 athletes transitioning into the World Class system, achieving 302 senior international appearances and 100 senior international medals, 38 of which were gold.
Nineteen identified athletes from previous campaigns represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, including rower Helen Glover, who was part of the crew which won Team GB’s first gold medal of the Games.
The Performance Pathway Team are working in conjunction with other national governing bodies to continue the Girls4Gold campaign series across more Olympic and Paralympic sports, with details to be announced later in 2013.
"Girls4Gold is an ambitious programme to fast track outstanding female talent in to Olympic and Paralympic sport beginning with canoeing,” said Head of Performance Pathways at UK Sport Natalie Dunman.
"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.
For further information and the application form Click Here
The application process closes at midnight on Sunday 15th December 2013.