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Wednesday 02 September 2015
Major sponsorship announced with 50 days to go
Scotland’s first ever Commonwealth Games gymnastics gold medallist Steve Frew, joined young athlete Rhys McClenaghan at The SSE Hydro to announce a partnership between the SSE Next Generation programme and the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships. The news comes as ticket sales for the Championships passed the 40,000 mark, with just 50 days until competition gets underway on 23 October.
The SSE Next Generation programme, a partnership with charity SportsAid, was born from SSE’s tier one sponsorship of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with 100 young athletes, including Rhys, currently receiving financial support and professional mentoring as a result. Support for the Championships represents a commitment from SSE to continue its support for sport and major events in Scotland.
Rhys (16) has an extremely busy schedule, balancing school studies in Northern Ireland with six, four-hour gym sessions as he trains to reach his goal of competing at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. As a member of the SSE Next Generation programme, Rhys was highlighted by his sport as a star of the future, and now benefits from the vital support he needs to fulfil his potential.
Through the partnership, athletes from throughout the UK, across a number of sports will attend the World Gymnastics Championships to gain invaluable experience of the unique pressures and competition environment presented by a major world-class event. They will also benefit from insight and words of wisdom from senior athletes, including Frew; himself a two-time Great Britain representative at the World Gymnastics Championships.
SSE Next Generation will also be giving an insight to school-children throughout the country, with excusive interviews and blogs to be distributed by the Championships alongside innovative primary and secondary learning resources.
Rhys said: “Being part of the SSE Next Generation programme has been a huge help to me in allowing me to go to more competitions and training camps, which have
boosted my performances. The chance to come and experience a World Championships is a dream come true and it will just motivate me even more to pursue my dreams.”
Steve, who competed for Great Britain at the 1995 and 1997 World Championships said: “When you are a young athlete there is so much to keep on top of as you train and develop. Support from programmes like SSE Next Generation is invaluable and this partnership with the World Gymnastics Championships will give athletes the chance to see first-hand the unique and inspiring environment presented by one of the world’s biggest sporting events.”
The event has already hit new heights, with a record number of countries and gymnasts set to compete at the 2015 World Championships, which includes qualification opportunities for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
An incredible 615 gymnasts from 91 countries have pledged to take part in the 10-day event, which is already the biggest selling artistic gymnastics event staged in the city as fans rush to snap up tickets.
Colin Banks, Acting Head of Sponsorship at SSE said: “Following the Commonwealth Games in 2014 it was really important to us to continue our support and to fulfil the commitment we set out as a sponsor. We are proud to be back in 2015 with the World Gymnastics Championships, which will give a number of athletes valuable experience and insight into a major event.
“The Next Generation programme has a real athlete-focus, and our aim is to bring that to the Championships in October. With the world’s best competing for gold, and the added prize of a place at Rio 2016, the event promises to be an incredible occasion.”
For more information on SSE Net Generation please www.sse.com