29 August 2008
Since his retirement from competition last year Olympic gold medallist Jason Gardener has taken on the role of UK School Games ambassador.
The Games are an event close to Gardeners’ heart, both with this year’s location and the progression of young athletes to world-class level.
The Bath born athlete has been working hard promoting sports within schools around the country as well as working with some of the countries most talented school age athletes.
He said: “The fact that the games were being held in Bath and Bristol has given me a great opportunity to put a little bit back to in to grass roots sports in the region.
“It also gives me a great opportunity to inspire some of our most talented school age children and I have no doubts that the athletes here will move on to Olympic level and be our future champions.
“It has already been proven with Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke) who won the women’s 100 metres in Coventry last year and was recently part of the Olympic 4x100m relay squad.”
Gardner’s role as Ambassador offers him an opportunity to embrace all the sports at the games but he’ll still have one eye on the athletics events which take place on Saturday and Sunday.
“Of course my sport is athletics, but being part of a multi-sport competition as an athlete, for Britain or England, it was always great to cheer on your fellow countryman.
“I was out in Beijing and I was at the cube watching our swimmers, or the Velodrome watching our cycling team before spending the majority of my time in the birds-nest.
The athletics programme kicks of on Saturday 30th with the women’s 300 metres hurdles.