BBC’s Blue Peter is off to the Youth Olympics

From the BOA
The young athletes selected to represent Great Britain at this summer’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will be joined on their journey to Singapore by BBC Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton and Newsround’s Ore Oduba, it has been announced by the British Olympic Association.

In creating the YOG, which will see 3,600 athletes aged 14-18 from over 200 nations competing in all 26 sports on the Olympic programme, the International Olympic Committee hopes to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and adopt and live by the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.

While the nation’s attention has been fixed on the World Cup in South Africa, many of Britain’s top young athletes are continuing to prepare for participation in the first YOG. Team selection will be announced by the BOA on July 13.

Blue Peter and Newsround are two of Britain’s best-loved children’s programmes. Blue Peter was first aired in 1958 and has enjoyed five decades of continuous transmission since. The programme is aimed at 6-12-year-olds and it has a large, loyal following. Newsround was the world’s first television news magazines aimed specifically at children, and has maintained a successful presence since 1972.

Fresh from her amazing feat of kayaking 2,010 miles along the Amazon river in aid of Sport Relief in February, Skelton will follow the hopes and dreams of a handful of Team GB athletes from their selection and pre-Games preparations, right through to their competition in Singapore. A 30-minute Blue Peter Olympics Special to be aired on BBC One and CBBC in January 2011 will also take a look back at the Youth Olympic Games.

Oduba, who states his childhood ambition as “to play hockey at the London 2012 Olympics”, will report on the Youth Olympic Games experience and Team GB’s performances in Singapore on a daily basis for Newsround.

In addition, sports news agency Sportsbeat will provide written coverage of all the action, including previews and reviews of Team GB’s aspiring Olympic prospects, who will be aiming not just for success in Singapore, but to gain important international multi-sport experience in their development as athletes.

BOA Chief Executive Andy Hunt said: “The BOA has a longstanding and strong relationship with the BBC. We are delighted that they share our excitement and enthusiasm for the Youth Olympic Games and have committed two of their principal youth focused programmes to cover the event.

“Their involvement will undoubtedly help to bring the Games to life for the British public, with less than two years to go until the eyes of the world turn on London for the 2012 Olympic Games.”

Notes to editors:
The inaugural Youth Olympic Games will take place from 14-26 August 2010 in Singapore, involving all 26 sports on the summer Olympic programme, with 3,600 athletes, aged 14-18, from over 200 nations taking part. For more information click here.

The BBC will broadcast rolling highlights of the Youth Olympic Games from Singapore on BBC Red Button, updated twice daily at 0800 and 1500. These highlights will also be available on BBC iPlayer. In addition BBC News Channel, and BBC Sport website will be covering all of the big stories from the Games, while Helen Skelton from Blue Peter and Ore Oduba from Newsround will be in Singapore reporting on Team GB and the Youth Olympic Games experience.

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