3rd August 2011
Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medallist Becky James has become the latest sporting star to join the search for future Olympians with an aptitude for speed and power.
Welsh Cycling has joined forces with the UK Talent Team (UK Sport and English Institute of Sport) in launching ‘Power2Podium', the latest in a series of successful talent identification schemes, and Abergavenny-born Becky James is throwing her support behind the cause.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without people believing in me and what I could achieve, so I think the Power2Podium programme is a really exciting opportunity for anyone out there with raw talent just waiting to be spotted.
"Welsh women and men could be just a few tests away from following in my footsteps; being able to focus purely on achieving their dreams to compete for GB at an Olympic Games and Wales at a Commonwealth Games. I'd strongly urge anyone that is gifted with power and speed to apply; you never know where it may take you!"
The talent search is targeting sportsmen and women between the ages of 15 and 26 that possess the speed, power and 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, weightlifting and sprint cycling. Applicants are being invited to sign up at www.uksport.gov.uk/talent.
Performance Manager at Welsh Cycling, Matt Cosgrove, said: "We want to build a solid base of talented riders here in Wales and working with the Sport Wales Institute and the UK Talent Team on programmes like Power2Podium will help us identify potential riders that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
"We need to sustain the success that we're currently witnessing from the likes of Becky James and we particularly want to unearth female sprint riders that will continue to represent Wales on podiums around the world."
Power2Podium comes after the success of a number of other UK Talent Team initiatives including Sporting Giants, where Wrexham rower Victoria Thornley was discovered and Girls4Gold. Since 2007 a total of 51 athletes across 15 sports have made 160 international appearances and won 54 medals for GB.
Chelsea Warr, Head of Athlete Development at UK Sport, added: "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."
So, if you're aged between 15 and 26, you're fast, powerful and strong, competitive and mentally tough and up for a challenge you could be just what Team GB is looking for. Sign up for the Cardiff assessment events on 8th and 9th October at UWIC.