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Athletes Say Thank You

Seb Coe

Seb Coe

Today over 400 National Lottery-funded athletes from across the UK have said ‘Thank You’ to National Lottery players for their life-changing funding.

Athletes looking to represent their country on the world’s biggest stage in just 39 days’ time today took to social networking sites to express their gratitude to National Lottery players.  

1,200 athletes receive National Lottery funding, allowing them to train to the highest international standards ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Since National Lottery athlete funding started in 1997, there has been a monumental change in the nation’s Olympic and Paralympic performance:

438 Olympic and Paralympic medals have been won by Lottery-funded athletes. Just one gold medal was won pre-funding at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, compared to 19 golds in Beijing in 2008. Paralympics GB was placed fourth at Atlanta in 1996. ParalympicsGB has since climbed to second place in the medal table following huge success in Beijing.

Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, said: “I’d like to thank all National Lottery players for their support.  Not only has The National Lottery invested £2.2 billion into the infrastructure and venues, but they’re also helping athletes to be the best they can be. Funding from organisations like The National Lottery make a huge difference to an athlete’s life and can help ensure they go from having the potential to succeed to actually achieving their dreams.”

400m hurdles World Champion Dai Greene said: “The impact of National Lottery funding has been evident at every stage of my athletics career. Without National Lottery funding I would not have had access to a world class coaching set up and be able to train full time on my journey to London 2012. I have also had the highest standards of coaching and medical support. National Lottery funding has transformed sport in this country and put us in such a strong position ahead of the London 2012 Games.”

National Lottery funding is also inspiring future generations by upgrading local sports clubs and facilities, and providing opportunities for more people to enjoy sport.

Peter Keen, Director of Performance at UK Sport, said: “National Lottery funding continues to make a life-changing difference at all levels of sport, giving everyone the chance to fulfil their potential. No one has contributed more to our athletes than National Lottery players.”

The National Lottery Thank You Day is live on Twitter today with Olympic and Paralympic athletes from every sport sending personal messages of thanks directly to National Lottery players.

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