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Two Olympians and an ex-professional footballer are among a new group that will be tasked with travelling the country to inspire Welsh youngsters.


Gymnast Frankie Jones, swimmer Tom Haffield and footballer Christian Roberts have been signed up by Sport Wales and the Youth Sport Trust for the new ‘Passing the Baton’ programme, an athlete mentor programme that will be delivered in selected secondary schools and their cluster primary schools across Wales.


Beth Fisher (Hockey), Fiona Tuttiett (Rugby Union), Ruth Owen-Evans (Cross Country Mountain Biking) and Bryony Raine (Athletics) are the other new recruits to make up the group.

The athletes will work with teaching staff and Young Ambassadors on projects that contribute to improving pupils’ physical literacy and attainment in education.


The athlete mentor programme forms part of the Physical Literacy Programme for Schools (PLPS), which is funded by Welsh Government and is linked to the 40 Pathways to Success schools from across Wales.


Richard Dando of Sport Wales said:


“The athletes will be advocates of physical literacy and have been selected as role models who, because of their backgrounds, can interact with and inspire students in the targeted secondary schools.

“The key is that by working with schools and pupils on bespoke projects the athletes can demonstrate that pupils who are physically literate are positive learners.


“They will help schools to demonstrate that sport can be used to promote life skills and employability skills which extend beyond sport. They will also inspire young people to want to be more physically active at all levels within school and the community.”


Passing the Baton also fits in with the UK-wide Sky Sports Living for Sport programme , meaning that schools can access increased support and mentor days to extend that package available to each school.


Pole Vaulter Bryony Raine commented:


“Attending the induction days for the Passing the Baton and Sky Sports Living For Sports programme has been very worthwhile in helping me become an athlete mentor. 


“It has shown me the endless ways in which our individual journeys through sport can be used as a catalyst to help young people achieve their personal best in life. 


“I can’t wait to be delivering the programme across Wales, putting my new skills to the test and hopefully seeing the benefits.”