Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, I would like to thank John Martin, the Headteacher and the staff and the pupils of Bacon’s College for hosting us all here today and for giving us such a warm welcome.
Over the next month, the eyes of the world will be on Great Britain. For us to hold the Olympic and the Paralympic Games here in London is a great moment for our Nation, which itself is steeped in sporting history. Therefore, for Catherine, Harry and me there could be no better way of starting this epic time than being with you here in Rotherhithe, so close to the heart of London 2012, to launch Coach Core.
Watching me on the football field is never a pretty sight – the expression giraffe on ice springs to mind. However it is marginally less embarrassing than seeing my brother cheat his way to becoming the fastest man on the planet! Catherine, on the other hand, with a tennis racquet or a hockey stick is something to behold and be aware of.
But what all three of us have in common is that we love sport. And not just playing it, but for what it does for people young and old. It builds confidence, engenders mutual respect and responsibility, and teaches us about the value of team work. That’s why Catherine, Harry and I are so excited about Coach Core, this brilliant programme developed by the Greenhouse Charity in partnership with our Foundation.
Coaching is a vital part of any sport. Being properly coached, really knowing about your sport – how to play it, how to train for it, how to compete - allows you to enjoy it to the full and gain most value from it. Being properly coached is also the key to success, over the next few weeks we just need to look over the river to see the power of coaching.
Coach Core will offer 16 to 22 year olds the opportunity to become first class coaches, taught and mentored by professionals in their field and in turn passing these skills on to other young people. Once this year’s pilot scheme is successfully completed, we hope over the next few years to train hundreds, then thousands, of young people to become coaches - and in time, transform the sporting potential, aspiration and enjoyment of many thousands more across this Country.
A special thank you to all those here today who have already signed up for the project. Catherine, Harry and I wish you every success in your new careers as sports coaches.
It is now my pleasure to introduce one of your number - Timi Tinubu – who will explain far better than I, what Coach Core is all about. Thank you.