Scottish Widows Backs Golden Hopefuls

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Unique support programme for young athletes aiming for London 2012 unveiled

Edinburgh, Scotland -- As part of the Lloyds Banking Group, Scottish Widows, the Official Pensions and Investment Provider of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has today launched a new programme to support four of Great Britain's new generation of sporting hopefuls on their journey to the London 2012 Games.

The new 'Golden Hopefuls' Programme will not only offer financial support to the young athletes, but also a unique mentoring programme with Scottish Widows Ambassadors for London 2012, Sarah Storey OBE and Roger Black MBE. The mentoring sessions form a key part of the Programme, enabling the Hopefuls to obtain guidance from two athletes who have experienced the Olympic & Paralympic Games first hand. This will help them to prepare for the Games mentally, both on and off track.

As well as a minimum of two mentoring sessions a year with Sarah Storey and Roger Black, each of the Golden Hopefuls will be provided with a £5,000 bursary per annum to help fund travel, accommodation, training and competition costs. Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games two-time gold medal winner Sarah Storey said: "Life for a young athlete isn't easy. These young people and their families have to sacrifice a lot in order to compete at this level and the training and travelling involved can be a big financial strain on families. It's great to be involved in a programme that provides the necessary support to young athletes, and Roger and I look forward to passing on our experiences to help them reach for that gold medal."

The four Golden Hopefuls that have been selected for the Programme are:

Elizabeth Heald, Diving, age 16
Toni Prince, Judo, age 19
Ali Jaward, Paralympic Powerlifting, age 20
James McLean, Hurdles, age 1

Camilla Grove, Sponsorship Manager at Scottish Widows said: "At Scottish Widows we understand the importance of being prepared, both financially and mentally, which is why we have chosen to work with Sarah and Roger to support these young athletes in their quest for gold. We look forward to seeing Elizabeth, Toni, Ali and James progress over the next four years and are thrilled to be able to help them on their journey to London 2012.

Visit Scottish Widows now to find out more about our retirement accounts, pension calculator, individual aavings accounts (ISAs), pensions and life insurance

For more information on Scottish Widows Golden Hopefuls, visit http://www.scottishwidows.co.uk/goldenhopefuls

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Susan McDonald