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Backing Talent: Dame Kelly Holmes on Kent 2012

PUBLISHED: 00:16 23 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:55 20 February 2013

Backing Talent: Dame Kelly Holmes on Kent 2012

Backing Talent: Dame Kelly Holmes on Kent 2012

Backing Talent: Dame Kelly Holmes on Kent 2012

Backing talent


With July 2012 only 16 months away, I thought it would be a great time to start putting Kent on the map and let you know what our county is doing to get ready for the biggest showcase of sport in the world thats coming to London and Great Britain The Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As the Patron of the Kent 2012 campaign I am pleased to see and be involved with the work the county is doing. Kent 2012 seeks to ensure that the county derives maximum benefit in 2012 and a long-term legacy from the Games across a number of sectors, including sport, tourism, the arts, economic development and volunteering.

Kent is hosting the Open Golf in 2011 a world-level event from 14-17 July at the Royal St Georges Golf course in Sandwich. Some 200,000 people are expected to attend and it will be shown on live TV to 110 nations.

Kent County Council and Dover District Council convinced the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (which manages The Open), that it made sense to bring it to Kent a year before the Olympics. There will be an enormous economic impact of accommodating The Open, in the region of 80 million!

Athletics Australia have signed up to base their team at Tonbridge School in the build up to 2012. I attended the signing ceremony and I can tell you now there will be a huge buzz in Tonbridge when the team arrives.

As the Olympic Games start to gain momentum we must not forget the Paralympics. Kent will have around 18 athletes for the 2012 Paralympians, which shows the huge development in disability sport since 2004, when we only had one representative at the Athens event.

I have my own charity called DKH Legacy Trust. We inspire young people and unlock life chances for them by improving their skills, knowledge and self-belief through support and mentoring projects with sporting champions. It was an honour to run a great event at Canterbury University.

The programme was called Backing Talent Kent. I led the day with the help of other retired sportspeople from a variety of backgrounds who acted as mentors, team leaders and deliverers of a support programme for Kent talented young sports people.

Kent Sports County Council has supported 900 national-level sports people over the past three years with grants, cheap purchase of equipment and clothing, and sport science support via local universities.

Kent is also supporting the Olympics legacy by piloting in 2011 a national schools sports competition with Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust. This will shape national school sports competition in 2012.

So along with the Kent Schools games running this year, young people in our county will really benefit from the inspiration.

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