18 April 2012
With just 100 days to go to the London 2012 Olympic Games, UK Athletics has today become the first National Governing Body to announce it will buy tickets to ensure that British athletes' families can watch them compete in every round in the Olympic Stadium.
With P&G, a British Olympic Association Partner, having already pledged to provide two free tickets for every Team GB competitor's first appearance at the Games, now UKA's decision to pay for two tickets for every subsequent athletics round means that British athletes can be assured that their nearest and dearest will be able to cheer them on - from the first round right through to the final.
Understanding the significance of having the support of family and friends and the impact of that on athlete performance, the UKA Board took the decision to help the athletes remain fully focused on their performance even further by removing the financial cost.
With a total of 20 athletics sessions (including race walking and marathon) within the London 2012 Olympic Games schedule, some athletes could receive up to five pairs of tickets.
CEO Niels de Vos explained UKA's thinking. "This is essentially a performance decision - the last thing we want athletes to be worrying about is the cost or availability of tickets for their mum and dad, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife.
“But it is also about recognising that without the massive support and sacrifice of friends and family, over many years, most athletes would never have made it to elite level.
“As soon as UKA heard we could access these tickets from LOCOG we made the decision to purchase them on behalf of our team, so no athlete need worry about either the availability or cost of getting their loved ones in to the Stadium.”
British Pole Vaulter Holly Bleasdale said, “I'm so happy to hear this. For me having people close to me there and supporting me is a big boost. I always compete to my best when I’m at my happiest so to hear this is great.
“It means that making the final I can have my mum and dad there watching me which is a massive confidence boost, and this makes me even more excited for the Aviva 2012 Trials to gain selection for the Games.”
Today’s announcement is part of UKA’s 100 days to go celebrations taking place on Wednesday 18th April between 10am-4pm.
UKA will be giving away a prize every half hour to fans that follow @UKA_athletics on Twitter as well as announcing the results of our search for the UK’s favourite Olympic Gold medal winning moment survey.