Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Thursday, 24 March 2011

Dame Kelly Holmes to take Team GB mentor role

Dame Kelly Holmes
Our School Reporter puts Holmes through her paces

Former Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes has revealed she will be named as an ambassador and mentor for Team GB ahead of the 2012 Games.

"I'm actually going to be announced as one of the ambassadors and mentors of the British team," Holmes told BBC School Reporter Bethany from Dover College in Kent in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Holmes, who won gold medals in the 800m and 1,500m at the 2004 Athens Olympics, was speaking after naming a new "super ferry" in Dover.

The Spirit of Britain is one of the biggest ferries to operate over the English Channel and will help bring an estimated 60,000 visitors to the Olympics next year.

"The Olympics and Paralympics will be an incredible time for British people," Holmes added. "Not just those who are taking part but everyone."

Budding young runner Bethany, taking part in BBC School Report's news day, was delighted to get the chance to interview the British star and said afterwards: "It was really fun and exciting, although I was very nervous."

In my career I didn't win every race, in fact I lost a lot, but it gave me the chance to know what to do better and want to succeed more
Dame Kelly Holmes

Bethany sealed the interview with the help of classmate Chloe, who reported on the Spirit of Britain for School Report in January.

"Only one of us was able to go to meet Dame Kelly Holmes and I thought she should go because she's a big fan."

Top tips

The student asked her idol for a few tips on the running track.

Holmes told her: "You need to make sure you get involved in an athletics club and make sure you're willing to train hard.

"What makes a really good runner is one who learns from a race that hasn't gone well. You also need to know how to train more effectively, and most of all, you need to enjoy it and stick to it."

Although Holmes claimed a bevy of medals in her athletics career, she was first to admit things had not always gone to plan.

"My first ever race was a cross-country race which was wet, windy and cold. I came second in the race, but it made me think that next time I wanted to win.

"In my career I didn't win every race, in fact I lost a lot, but it gave me the chance to know what to do better and want to succeed more."


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