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SAINSBURY’S CONFIRMED AS MAJOR BRITISH ATHLETICS SPONSOR

Sainsbury's

15th April 2013

- Sainsbury’s to sponsor three world class athletics events in the UK this summer, culminating in the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games

- New long-term partnership with British Athletics strengthens Sainsbury’s commitment to Paralympic sport

British Athletics has confirmed Sainsbury’s as the title sponsor of the Sainsbury’s Summer Series - three world class athletics events in the UK this summer, culminating in the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford from Friday 26 July to Sunday 28 July.

This partnership, which includes long-term support for British Athletics’ Paralympic programme, follows the retailer’s successful sponsorship of the 2012 Paralympic Games. Sainsbury’s legacy programme has already seen £2 million of funding for schools, clubs and organisations to ensure that the next generation of Paralympic athletes get the support and coaching they need.

Unique on the world stage, the Sainsbury’s Summer Series features two IAAF Diamond League events, the final of the IPC Grand Prix Series, and a one-off IPC International Challenge and some of the world’s biggest athletics stars have already been confirmed to compete. Olympic champions Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, headline 11 Olympic medallists who have already confirmed to compete at the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix in June, at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium. The

Sainsbury’s Summer Series will include:

Sainsbury’s Grand Prix - Birmingham, Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, 29-30 June 

Sainsbury’s British Championships - Birmingham, Alexander Stadium, Birmingham 12-14 July 

Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, 26-28 July

Fans can find out more and register their interest in tickets, for free, via the British Athletics website – www.britishathletics.org.uk.  Pre-registered fans can buy tickets for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games from 10am this Friday (19 April), although pre-registration closes at midnight on Wednesday (17 April).  Tickets will go on general public sale at 10am on 23 April.

Justin King, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive said: “Last summer the whole country was inspired and uplifted as we celebrated the very best of human sporting achievement through the Olympics and Paralympics. It was truly a summer like no other.

“As the first ever sole-sponsor of the Paralympics, Sainsbury’s saw firsthand the power of sport to bring people and communities together. We said at the time that we saw our involvement as much more than a one-off sponsorship – we wanted to be part of the movement, and to play our part in ensuring a lasting legacy building on the momentum created last summer.

“In the weeks immediately following we announced the creation of Active Kids for All – a commitment to help ensure that the half a million children with disabilities being educated in mainstream schools are included in sports classes.

“We’ve also demonstrated our belief in the importance of competitive school sports through our backing of the Sainsbury’s School Games which this year will see young athletes competing in events right across the country – at school, county and national level.

“And this year, we’ve once again used our Active Kids programme, now in its ninth year, to engage local communities in the positive benefits of physical activity.

“Now with this partnership and our sponsorship of the Summer Series we’re proud to be part of Britain’s renewed love of athletes and sport for all, supporting our current crop of world class athletes as well as inspiring the sporting stars of tomorrow.”

Ed Warner, Chairman UK Athletics commented: “Sainsbury’s is an experienced and committed partner who embraced and promoted the Paralympics hugely successfully in 2012 and I am excited to work with them again, as they bring that expertise to the promotion of British Athletics.

“Being back in the Stadium on the anniversary of the lighting of the Olympic Flame ensures we can recreate the excitement of 2012 and build momentum towards the amazing summer of 2017, and our IAAF and IPC World Championships. Sainsbury’s long term commitment to Paralympic sport will ensure that we continue to grow the British Athletics Paralympic Programme through to Rio 2016 and London 2017.”

Hannah Cockroft, double gold Paralympic champion added: “Sainsbury’s sponsorship of the Summer Series is a fantastic opportunity to get even more people involved in and inspired by athletics. Following on from my own personal success in 2012, I hope the Series will bring some of the magic back from last year and get people across the UK behind us.  I can’t wait to compete at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Park in July.”

Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson MP said: “The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games underlined the passion our nation has for sport and getting behind our inspirational athletes.  I’m sure the Sainsbury’s Summer Series will receive the same level of support from the British public, making them a great spectacle and building on the success of last summer.”

Sainsbury’s already sponsor the School Games as part of the retailer’s commitment to promoting healthier, more active lifestyles for all. Last year 1600 of the UK’s best young athletes competed in the School Games at The Olympic Park with this year’s event taking place 12-15 September 2013 in Sheffield.  The British Athletics Paralympic programme, includes successful talent ID scheme ‘Parallel Success’, which discovered Paralympic talents like Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockroft, also ensured Britain’s top Paralympic stars received world class competition opportunities in the approach to the 2012 Games. British Paralympic athletes finished third in the 2012 Paralympic Games medal table with 29 medals including 11 gold, behind China and Russia, underlining the nation as a super power in Paralympic sport.