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SPORT Girls4Gold scheme pays off for Yarnold

Lizzy Yarnold’s skeleton gold medal at the Sochi Olympics was only the 10th gold in British winter Olympic his- tory but

is however, the

second gold medal in skele- ton in as many Winter Games, following Amy Williams’ suc- cess at Vancouver in 2010. Add to that the fact that GB

Skeleton has won medals in every Games since its reintro- duction in 2002 and it is clear that Team GB is becoming the dominant force in the sport. Yarnold was discovered

Lizzy Yarnold won a gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games

through Girls4Gold – the most extensive female sporting talent recruit- ment drive ever undertaken in the UK. Lizzie was considered for a range of sports

before being identified as an athlete who could excel in skeleton. She then advanced to become one of four athletes to join British Skeleton’s National Lottery Funded World Class Programme. Natalie Dunman, who manages the talent

identification programme, said: “I can still recall when Lizzy arrived at the first testing phase and it quickly became apparent to the team she had the potential to succeed in elite sport.

“Working closely with the British Skeleton

programme we have learnt a lot from Lizzy’s journey to success and look forward to apply- ing this in current and future development programmes both within Skeleton and across other sports. “Our carefully planned and implemented tal-

ent identification programme has taken a very special young woman with a huge amount of determination and commitment to realise the potential of this approach in such an acceler- ated timescale.” Details:

Grant calls for women to be offered more sport

Sports minister Helen Grant has called for women to be offered a wider choice of sports in order to increase the num- ber of females playing sport. In an interview with the

Daily Telegraph, she expressed her worries that women were being put off by memories of being forced to play football at school. She added there was a need

to “step back and actually ask women what they want and give it to them. “Tere are some wonderful

Grant says women were ‘put off’ sport by being forced to play school football

sports which you can do and perform to a very high level and I think those participating look absolutely radiant and very feminine such as ballet, gymnastics, cheerlead- ing and even roller-skating,” Grant said. Her comments come aſter the most recent

Active People Survey showed that the num- ber of women playing sport has declined since the 2012 Olympics. “Our research show that 51 per cent of girls say that PE and school sport currently puts

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

them off being physically active,” said Tim Woodhouse, head of policy at the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation. “It is crucial we address this and we

are pleased to see that the sports min- ister agrees with us that girls need to be offered a variety of activities in school. It is unacceptable that only 8% of 14-year- old girls meet recommended activity levels. Details:

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