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Aviva UKA Academy

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Click here to visit the Aviva UKA Academy


03 June 2009

Christine Ohuruogu today returned to her old school to unveil a whole new approach to grassroots sport – the Aviva UKA Academy – designed to provide opportunities for every child in the UK to get active.

Christine was keen to go back to where it all began and to inspire youngsters after new research by Aviva revealed that teenagers spend 20 times longer in front of a television or computer screen than they do playing sport.

Aviva UKA Academy ambassador, Christina Ohuruogu says: “The first steps to winning Olympic and World gold medals were taken as a youngster when I tried out different sports. Just having a go at a few different things helped me discover my ability as an athlete. The encouragement I got both at home and the inspiration I received from my PE teacher ended up changing my life. There’s no doubt that this is a major boost for athletics in this country and the Aviva UKA Academy will go a long way in discovering the next generation of talented athletes.”

With six different schemes, new indoor and outdoor competition and awards structures, the Aviva UKA Academy aims to engage and attract children to the sport, regardless of age, level or ability. The programme ranges from teacher training tools to inter schools competitions, disability sport recruitment and after school and summer holiday programmes.

Niels de Vos, Chief Executive, UK Athletics added: “Since athletics was dropped from the school curriculum we have relied heavily on the support of Aviva to drive athletics in schools and provide children with the opportunity to take part in the number one Olympic sport. The Aviva UKA Academy will help us to continue developing talented athletes, increase participation and create a legacy for the sport up to and beyond 2012.”

As the team behind UKA for over a decade, Aviva is one of the biggest investors in grassroots sport in the UK, with a third of its investment in the sport going into the Aviva UKA Academy.  Aviva's investment to date has helped over seven million children participate in athletics, and by 2012 the company will have invested a total of £20.5m, providing opportunities for every single child in the UK to get involved.

Mark Hodges, Chief Executive, Aviva UK Life, comments: "We’re extremely proud of the impact that our investment in athletics has had at all levels of the sport over the past decade. This week saw us complete our journey from Norwich Union to our global customer brand Aviva. While our name may have changed, our commitment to UK Athletics and the health and well-being of the next generation remains as strong as ever. Our unparalleled support will ensure that the Aviva UKA Academy provides every child in the UK the opportunity to participate in athletics and reap the many benefits of being active - as well as hopefully unearthing some future champions along the way.”

For more information on the Aviva UKA Academy please visit  www.uka.org.uk/academy