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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 21:00 GMT 22:00 UK
Olympic support schemes unveiled
Tessa Jowell, young basketball player Amber Charles and London Mayor Ken Livingtone
Young basketball player Amber Charles joined the politicians
Promising young athletes will benefit from cheap travel and a new "trust fund" in a bid to boost Britain's medal hopes at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The schemes were announced by Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.

Jowell said the 2012 Games were not just about 17 days of sport but "the inspiration for a generation".

She also revealed major plans to revive sport in schools and the expansion of an existing sports scholarship scheme.

Jowell described the new trust fund as "a 10-year programme to support those individuals who, regardless of their background, could be the medallists of the future."

She said the Government, along with British Airways and others, would also establish a new "passport" providing cheap air travel for elite athletes and promising youngsters.

An annual national school sports festival showcasing sporting talent will also be established, she added.

Jowell was joined on stage by many of the Olympic youth ambassadors from Newham, East London, who helped promote the 2012 bid.

Amber Charles, 14, said she hoped to compete for Britain in basketball at the Games.

"It's what I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember," she said.

"Actually having the Games in London has spurred me on to want to compete."


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