London 2012: Royal trio to be Team GB ambassadors

Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Image caption Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will actively encourage the public to support Team GB

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have been appointed as official Team GB ambassadors for next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The trio will promote Britain's athletes in the run-up to and during next year's Games and said they were "honoured" to take on the position.

They began their role with a message of support for the Team GB Ambition Programme, which has just launched.

The Duke said: "We are looking forward to this incredible competition."

He added: "We are also looking beyond next summer's Games to the springboard it will provide for future success and excellence.

"The athletes and coaches taking part in the Ambition Programme are part of that future success - potential medal winners and sources of inspiration to come.

"We hope they enjoy the experience of London 2012 to the full, and learn from it how to become successful British Olympians of the future."

The royal trio are likely to visit the teams over the next few months.

British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt said: "It is a great motivation for Team GB that the Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry are supporting their efforts next year.

"We hope together we can ensure that the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is behind our athletes in their quest for Olympic success."

British Paralympic Association chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said: "The Paralympic Games are coming home in 2012 and we want to use this opportunity to raise the profile of Paralympic sport in this country and ensure that the nation takes British Paralympians to their hearts.

"We're sure that the presence of their Royal Highnesses will help us achieve this goal and it will give the athletes a tremendous lift to know that they are going to be supporting them."

The Ambition Programme will choose about 200 athletes and coaches who hope to be involved at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 and the following summer Olympics in Brazil two years later.

They will spend two days at the Team GB Prep Camp and have three days hands-on experience in the Olympics environment in London followed by a one-day workshop after the Games.

The programme started before the 2008 Beijing Olympics and triathlete Jonathan Brownlee, 1,500m runner Hannah England and modern pentathlete Mhairi Spence, who all attended, are now battling for places in next year's British Olympic team.

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