19 July 2004
Coe And 2012 Hopefuls Meet Prime Minister
The leader of London's bid to win the 2012 Olympics and young sports stars who are hoping to compete in the games met the Prime Minister tonight at a Downing Street reception celebrating the big contribution sport makes to life in Britain.
Tony Blair was meeting the double Olympic gold medallist Lord Coe, chairman of London 2012, and four up-and-coming athletes from the London club Belgrave Harriers, among the nearly one hundred young people attending the reception.
Groups of teenagers and children from around the country were picked out to rub shoulders with present day figures including Sven Goran Eriksson, Michael Vaughan and Ronnie O'Sullivan.
All the young people chosen have established themselves as outstanding young sportsmen and women, or play an important role as mentors or coaches in their local communities. They play sports including netball, cricket, athletics, football and swimming. There were also a number of disabled young athletes attending.
Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, also met them. She said:
"I am so pleased to celebrate the contribution of such inspiring young people."
"All the money we have invested, and will continue to invest, in sport in this country is dedicated to building a bridge to the 2012 Olympics, where we hope to see these youngsters going for gold in London."
The reception highlighted the Government's commitment to the campaign to win the right to stage the Olympics in London in eight years time. All the young people were given special 2012 medals and designated as ambassadors for the bid.
The four young Belgrave Harriers' athletes are:
Louise Collier, 16, who competes in the 400m and 800m and is ranked 4th in Britain.
Roy Collier, 17, a decathlete.
Luke Sargeant, 16, a sprinter over 100m and 200m.
Aileen Wilson, a 20-year-old high jumper.
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