engage magazine issue 005 \\\'07 - Page 41

TESSA SANDERSON 41 Olympic Opportunities Gold athletes across all Olympic sports. It also means the youngsters receive training in the borough and assistance through bursaries for the equipment they need, to ensure they can get into competitions. But, the main thing is that we work closely with the schools and colleges to make sure our youngsters keep up with their studies as they need to understand that sporting success is not a certainty and you will always need an educational backup” Tessa added. To date, over 50 young people are enrolled on the programme and there are hopes to provide this training to many more youngsters provided the Academy can get the funding. Incredibly, Tessa is having to scrounge around for sponsors! How can this be, when surely this initiative ticks all the boxes surrounding the premise for the Olympic bid. “We have been doing it all by ourselves – however, we are now in the frontline with a lot of media backing. If anyone wants to sponsor us, we are here.” Tessa explained. Tessa’s passion for this project registered loud and clear and I wondered whether she had any personal goals attached to this initiative. Tessa told me “I’m not sure whether my group will be ready for Olympic gold but my aspiration is to get a couple of the youngsters from the academy competing in the games - this would be fantastic and we would have all done our jobs 100%. It will be a journey that they will never regret. It is a pathway for them to experience so many good things that will put them on the ladder to a better life.” As a parting word Tessa added “Olympic Games are something to be admired. It is there to aspire and inspire all of us, and even to be a volunteer would be a major experience and pretty special.” ISSUE FIVE 2007 engage | uk