- Sevens duo join GB stars to launch Power2Podium programme
- Search starts to unlock new talent for 2016 Olympics and beyond
Photo: Getty Images
England Sevens stars Tom Powell and Heather Fisher joined Olympic gold medallists Christine Ohuruogu and Amy Williams at the start of a search for a new generation of outstanding athletes.
Sevens makes its debut at the 2016 games in Rio and is one of seven sports taking part in the UK Talent Team initiative Power2Podium run by UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport (EIS).
Power2Podium targets sportsmen and women between the ages of 15 and 26 who possess the speed, power and raw talent to potentially represent Great Britain in Rio and at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Powell, who has scored 20 tries in 13 HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments for England, is recovering from a depressed skull fracture sustained in the Emirates Airline London Sevens, while Fisher heads for Romania this week as part of the England Women’s side in action at the FIRA European Grand Prix in Bucharest.
Both spent time with the likes of Williams and sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey as well as Nigel Walker, the former GB hurdler who won 17 caps on the wing for Wales and is now the National Director of the EIS.
"It’s an exciting time for rugby as we look ahead to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 where sevens will be included for the first time,” said Powell.
"We need to find the best potential out there to help us field a world class team and really make our mark at the biggest sporting event on earth."
Photo: Getty Images
Power2Podium will use the latest sports science and technology, along with coaching expertise, to test sporting potential in the predominantly speed and power sports of athletics, rugby sevens, bobsleigh and skeleton, canoeing, sprint cycling and weightlifting. Applicants are being invited to sign up at www.uksport.gov.uk/talent
Williams, who became the first British individual Winter Olympics gold medallist for 30 years when she won the bob skeleton title in Vancouver last year, added: "I started my sporting career as a 400m sprinter and it wasn’t until I was at university that I discovered that my real talent was in bob skeleton.
"It is very exciting to think that the next generation of potential British sportsmen and women could be just a few tests away from uncovering their hidden sporting talent."
Power2Podium comes after the success a number of other UK Talent Team initiatives including Sporting Giants and Girls4Gold and since 2007 a total of 51 athletes across 15 sports have made 160 international appearances and won 54 medals, including eight World and three European Championship plus nine World Cup prizes.