Young windsurfing stars, Kieran Martin and Jade Rogers, have today been named as part of Team GB's 40 strong squad of young athletes set to compete at the first ever Youth Olympic Games, to be held in Singapore next month (14 - 26 August).
The inaugural event will encompass all 26 sports on the programme for the 2012 Summer Games and is set to run consecutively for the next four years. Over 3500 young athletes aged between 14 and 18 are expected to compete at the event each vying for one of the coveted brand new Youth Olympic titles on offer.
The sport of Sailing and Windsurfing is granted two places at the event per country with the British Olympic Association (BOA) in it's official announcement today ratifying the RYA's selection of Martin and Rogers to represent Great Britain at the event.
Martin and Rogers secured the country's places at the event during the qualification series earlier this year. Martin securing the boys in January at the Techno Europeans, Cadiz and Rogers securing the girls place in April at the Techno French Nationals.
With their places at the event not confirmed until today's announcement, the 15-year-old duo, who both live in Chealde, Staffordshire, are now able to look forward to their unique opportunity.
Rogers explains: "I'm really excited to be part of Team GB and go to the first ever Youth Olympics - it's obviously going to be a really good experience. Being one of a team of so many amazing athletes is really cool and I'm looking forward to meeting them and enjoying the experience of the event together."
She continued: "We've been doing a lot of training with the RYA National Junior Squad and I've been going to the gym a lot to work on my fitness which will be key. The humidity is pretty high at the venue so that's going to make it even more difficult. We're going to have to be well prepared and make sure we drink a lot."
Martin is no stranger to international competition currently holding the Under 15 Techno World title however he realises the Youth Olympics will be a very different affair.
He comments: "The Youth Olympics is going to be great and I'm proud to be representing the country. It'll be quite different to what I'm used to though - at the Worlds you get loads of people there where as this is just the top people out of every country.
"The competition is going to be tough and hard fought because of that but I'll just go out there and try and do my best. It'll be a learning experience and it'll give us a good idea what the Olympics might be like to compete at and what it's like to compete at a much higher level,"
RYA Techno National Junior Squad Coach Oli Woodcock will be taking the duo out to the Techno Worlds in Martiques, France (24-31st July) to warm up for the games where he will accompany them for the 18 days the evens runs.
He said: "The Youth Olympics Games is going to be a great experience for the two sailors and it'll give them an idea of what the real thing is like. They'll experience what it's like to be a professional athlete staying in the Olympic village, dealing with media commitments and the different cultures they'll be confronted with.
"We'll be going out there to have lots of fun, learn as much as possible, and do was well as we can putting into practice all the hard training we've done over the winter. Being such a unique event the pressures on the sailors are going to be quite different to normal but I have every faith in Jade and Kieran - medals are well within our capabilities," he concluded.
RYA Single-Handed Pathway Manager Kirsty Bonar added: "The Youth Olympic Games is a completely new event so we're not quite sure exactly what to expect from it. Being such a high profile event however, it'll be a great learning experience not just for our young sailors going out there but also for Oli. The lessons learnt will be invaluable to the whole of the rest of the team."
For more information about the games visit www.singapore2010.sg .