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UK Athletics appoints legends as mentors

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UK Athletics (UKA) has appointed four of Britain's top athletes of yesteryear to mentor today's crop of top junior and senior talent.

Double Olympic champion, Daley Thompson and Olympic bronze medallist, Katherine Merry will work with the British juniors, starting at the World Junior Championships in Beijing later this month.

Olympic silver medallist, Steve Backley and Olympic champion, Linford Christie, will work in a coaching support capacity for senior performers, and will travel with the British squad to Gothenburg for the European Championships.

Dave Collins, performance director at UKA said: "We have chosen these four athletes as they have demonstrated the commitment required for their respective roles and have tremendous track records as athletes in their own right.

"They each have much to offer the sport of athletics and they have the instant respect of our senior and junior athletes."

The programme is being funding using money from Norwich Union's sponsorship package, which was increased earlier this year.

Tanya Veingard, head of sponsorship for Norwich Union said: “We are delighted to support the mentors and have seen first hand what a difference a mentor can make with our work with Kelly Holmes’ ‘On Camp with Kelly’ initiative.

"Two of the girls involved have already made the Norwich Union GB Team for Beijing and we will be watching them closely. Now, with Daley, Linford, Steve and Katharine, other athletes, both senior and junior, will have access to some of the most inspirational, motivational and iconic athletes Britain has produced.”

Photograph: Daley Thompson said he is looking forward to offering an insight to young athletes.

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UK Athletics (UKA) has appointed four of Britain's top athletes of yesteryear to mentor today's crop of top junior and senior talent.
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