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Jaguar Academy Of Sport Launched By Living Legends Of British Sport

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LONDON - March 4, 2010: The Jaguar Academy of Sport was launched at a ceremony in London today by Sir Ian Botham, Gareth Edwards CBE, Dame Kelly Holmes DBE, Denise Lewis OBE, Sir Steve Redgrave and supported by David Beckham OBE by video message. These legends of British sport are the Patrons of the Jaguar Academy of Sport, which aims to recognise, celebrate and inspire the very best of British sporting talent and success.

The Jaguar Academy will fulfill this aim through a Bursary Fund which will support new British sporting talent, a prestigious annual Awards Ceremony, a unique club of the best of British sport which will be used to inspire the next generation and a vibrant website celebrating British sporting talent and achievement.

At the heart of the Jaguar Academy is a Bursary Fund that will support the development of young British sporting talent. All sports will be considered and the beneficiaries will be those who demonstrate the greatest potential, real dedication to their sport and an outstanding desire to succeed. The Jaguar Academy will work closely with charity SportsAid using their proven process and expertise to ensure the very best talent is identified and supported. The final decision on the successful athletes nominated for a Bursary will be made by the Patrons of the Jaguar Academy of Sport, some of the nation’s most successful sportsmen and women. Over time it is hoped this fund will help to develop the next generation of British sporting champions. The first beneficiaries of the Jaguar Academy Bursary Fund will be announced in the next few months.

The Jaguar Academy will also feature a prestigious annual Awards ceremony celebrating the best British sporting achievements of the year and will also recognise rising stars from across British sport. Each winner will receive a Trophy which was unveiled at the launch today. It is a bespoke design created specifically for the Jaguar Academy by Jaguar Chief Designer, Giles Taylor. In addition, the best performing Jaguar Academy Bursary winners will be invited to the Awards, supporting the mission of the Jaguar Academy to recognise, celebrate and inspire the next generation of British sporting talent.

Day-to-day the Jaguar Academy will be represented by a news website, The site will showcase British sport and its greatest performers past & present. It will commemorate our many successes and anticipate events and tournaments where we expect our competitors to make the nation proud. It will also leverage social media to engage visitors and encourage comment and opinion.

The Patrons were joined in London at the launch by Jaguar Academy of Sport Ambassadors, Jamie Baulch, Dave Brailsford CBE, Martin Brundle, Tasha Danvers, Jessica Ennis, Mark Foster, Colin Jackson CBE and Michael Vaughan OBE. The Patrons and Ambassadors represent a unique group of the best of British sport that have represented our country with great distinction. They will share their knowledge, experience and guidance to inspire the next generation. For the full list of Patrons and Ambassadors see footnote.

Geoff Cousins, Managing Director, Jaguar UK: “This is a long term commitment by Jaguar to support British sport and contribute to the creation of the next generation of British sporting talent. Over the past few years Jaguar has been re-inventing itself to become the modern, sporting company it used to be. With the launch of the flagship XJ completing the transformation of the Jaguar brand, it is the perfect time to develop an even closer relationship with British sport. It’s a natural fit for us and with our sports cars and sports saloons, which are all about the best of British.”

David Beckham, OBE: “I’m so proud to represent my country, whether it’s on the football pitch, or helping with the 2012 Olympic or 2018 World Cup bids. The Jaguar Academy of Sport is all about supporting the next generation of British talent. I’m delighted to contribute to this initiative and, together with the other patrons, to make sure sport in this country continues to thrive.”

Sir Ian Botham: “British sport has come a long way in the last decade. Just look at the success we are now achieving in so many different fields. However we can never be complacent and need to build on this and drive higher standards and success. I am pleased to be part of the Jaguar Academy of Sport and help contribute to its mission. This is a great initiative.”

Gareth Edwards CBE: “I’m lucky enough to travel the world as part of my continuing involvement in the sport of rugby. No matter where I watch the home nation sides play, I am always amazed by the support that they receive. No other nation follows its sports teams and individuals as passionately as the British. I’m very proud of our sporting nation, and as such am delighted to be a figurehead for the Jaguar Academy of Sport.”

Dame Kelly Holmes DBE: “I am delighted to be part of this initiative. Jaguar is a great British brand and its range of sports cars and sports saloons are real world-beaters – which being a bit of a speed girl is something I can relate to! Just as importantly the Jaguar Academy is all about helping young people to reach their sporting potential that is an area close to my heart. As such I intend to take an active role in the Jaguar Academy of Sport Bursary Fund”

Denise Lewis, OBE:“I am proud to be a Patron of the Jaguar Academy of Sport and use all the knowledge and experience I gained from my success to help inspire the next generation of athletes. That’s what the Academy is all about and it is good to see one of Britain’s most famous brands and exports getting behind British sport.”

Sir Steve Redgrave:“I am proud to be a Patron of the Jaguar Academy of Sport. I have had a long association with Jaguar dating back to my Olympic medal successes and I am delighted that they are now stepping-up their involvement in British sport and creating the Academy. Clearly the most important aspect of this is going to be the support and inspiration we can give to the next generation. The next few years are going to be a halcyon period for British sport. I look forward to working with Jaguar and my peers to make this into a lasting legacy.”

Geoff Cousins, Managing Director, Jaguar UK concluded:“We are honoured to have support from our Patrons and Ambassadors who are true living legends of British sport. They will work with us to help recognise, inspire and support the next generation. British sport has come a long way in recent times and we believe this should be recognised, celebrated and used to help inspire the talent of the future. We are keen to make a difference as soon as possible and will shortly announce the first recipients of the Jaguar Academy Bursary. ”