Olympic athletes Steve Williams and Moe Sbihi urged people to keep London 2012’s spirit alive last night at SportsAid’s Sports Quiz, which was hosted by Karen Pickering, by helping young people who want to follow in their footsteps.
Speaking to 200 guests at Lord’s Cricket Ground Steve said, “A SportsAid award is a breakthrough moment for a 14, 15 or 16 year old. The more people who say ‘yes you can do it’, that builds up that confidence, the bulletproof confidence you need to go out and race.
“But it’s also bigger than that,” the double Olympic champion added. “We all know that feel-good factor from a couple of summers ago [at London 2012]. We’re not just talking about helping individual athletes from individual sports, we’re talking about the whole country here feeling great, not just during the Olympics but for years afterwards. It affects the whole country.”
Moe agreed, saying, “The money that you contribute is helping the next Steve Williams, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, or Jessica Ennis, and like Steve says, we want to keep that feel-good factor from London moving on from Rio and into Tokyo because that’s the generation that you’re now supporting.”
Listening to the two Olympians on stage was 17-year-old boxer Viddal Riley from Tottenham in London who was recently selected to represent England at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. He said, “I don’t have one hero, I look up to most Olympians, not just boxers but anyone who is successful inspires me.”
Asked about the prospect of competing at next year’s Olympics Viddal replied, “Rio is possible. I’ve been told that I can attend the qualifying next year and if everything goes well at the Youth Commonwealths and I win the nationals again next year then I can look at qualifying for Rio which would be a big opportunity obviously.”
Unfortunately for Viddal, boxing was not included in any of the quiz’s seven rounds, which proved a tough test for even the most ardent sports fans among the guests after four-time winners Mark Davies Scratch were surprisingly beaten into second placed in the final round by newcomers Zoopla.
Another expert team had representatives from Sport England and the national governing bodies of cycling, judo and bobsleigh. Despite finishing 12th, Lauren Forrow from GB Bobsleigh said, “It’s been a fantastic evening, it’s really set the scene for the work that SportsAid does and it’s a fantastic night celebrating all of that work. The charity has such a huge influence on so many athletes and I think it’s a great evening to promote that. I would definitely come again. It’s a fantastic event and I would highly recommend it.”
Andrew Poole from MyLotto24 agreed, saying, “We’ll absolutely be here next year at the Sports Quiz 2016, especially with Rio that year and SportsAid’s 40th anniversary. So we might even bring two teams. It’s a lot of fun.”
If you are interested in sponsoring next year’s Sports Quiz please contact Graham Dandy at the charity on 020 7273 1977.
Interviews and information on SportsAid
Call Simon Worsfold at SportsAid on 020 7273 1978 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SportsAid helps young sports people to overcome the financial challenges they face in their bid to become Britain’s next generation of Olympians and Paralympians. The charity’s patron is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. Some of the best known former SportsAid recipients are Sir Chris Hoy, David Weir CBE, Mo Farah CBE, Dame Sarah Storey, Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE, Ellie Simmonds OBE, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE, Sir Ben Ainslie, Jonnie Peacock MBE, Tom Daley, Ade Adepitan MBE and Sir Steve Redgrave.