Potential 2012 stars graduate from apprenticeship programme
25 Jan 2010
Britain’s aquatics athletes, with dreams of competing at London 2012, picked up another accolade on Saturday 23rd January when they graduated from the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE).
In total 99 athletes from all aquatic disciplines graduated from their unique apprenticeship, including British diver Charles Calvert and British synchro star Vicky Lucass, both of whom competed at the 2009 World Championships.
Calvert said: “It was a great course to be part of. Diving is a big part of my life and taking part in AASE has helped me manage my time better allowing me to keep up with my school work while letting me train and go to competitions.”
The AASE programme is a government-funded initiative that has been designed to help young people aged 16 to 18 combine education and sport. It’s aimed at athletes who have a realistic potential of achieving excellence in their sport – and want to make a career of performing at the highest level – but who also want to continue with their education. Therefore, as part of the AASE programme, all athletes are required to undertake qualifications of an academic and vocational nature which will help them to gain employment following their sporting career.
The AASE graduation ceremony, which took place at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, not only recognised the educational success and achievement but is also a celebration of talent.
Michelle Kiff, the ASA’s Apprenticeship Manager, said: “British Swimming sent a total of 49 athletes to represent swimming, diving and synchronised swimming at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 36 athletes from Disability Swimming to participate in the Paralympics. British Swimming will be hoping for a larger contingent for 2012 and is training athletes across all its disciplines using a four-year cycle that culminates in the Olympics and Paralympics. We are excited that a number of our apprentices are already part of this experience and more may become involved as we get closer to 2012.”
The event was hosted by James Hickman, five-times World Short Course (25m) Champion in the 200m Butterfly and two-time world record holder.
The government is currently using apprenticeships as a flagship programme for training and with London 2012 getting nearer, it is hoped the apprentices will be part of the 2012 legacy.
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