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GB CYCLISTS ‘JUST IMAGINE’ LIFE WITHOUT LOTTERY FUNDING

Thursday, January 9, 2014:  The National Lottery has released a video in which GB’s leading cyclists highlight the massive role that National Lottery funding has played in developing their careers and success as professional athletes 

The video is released on Day 9 of ‘Just Imagine’, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the massive impact that £31 billion in project funding has had across the UK since the first National Lottery draw 20 years ago this year.

A host of GB Cycling’s top names feature in the video, including sprint and kierin World Champion, Becky James, and London 2012 team pursuit gold medallists Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott.  GB’s men’s cyclists to appear include multiple Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny and GB’s London 2012 team pursuit gold medallists Steven Burke and Ed Clancy.

National Lottery funding for sport in the UK totals over £7 billion.  1,300 elite athletes currently benefit from Lottery funding through UK Sport, with sports clubs and facilities up and down the UK having been improved with Lottery funding.

National Lottery funding is helping make cycling safe and accessible to as many people as possible, funding everything from cycling proficiency courses, 128 BMX tracks around the country and The National Cycle Network, which runs within two miles of 75 per cent of the population and was made possible with a Lottery grant of £43.5 million.

Vicki Kennedy, Director of The National Lottery Promotions Unit, said: “National Lottery funding has helped make British cycling a global success story.   This is demonstrated in the medals table - British cyclists won six medals at the Sydney 2000 Olympics but this climbed to 34 at London 2012.  National Lottery players should be proud of their role in this and that their money is also giving people of all ages opportunities to lead healthier lifestyles.”

Speaking about National funding in the film, Jason Kenny says: “I’ve been really lucky.  It’s been there my whole career.  I know that before that the guys really struggled.  Without it I just wouldn’t be a sportsman, basically.”

Giving her view of the importance of funding, Joanna Rowsell says: “I would say to a fellow athlete that the National Lottery funding is really important to us as athletes and it’s the key to to being able to train full-time and dedicate to your sport.  Without that, we wouldn’t be here doing this.”

Discussing the funding further, Steven Burke adds: “I think it’s a massive advantage over other countries.  Without this Lottery funding I think it’d be very difficult to gain Olympic medals.”

Released on Twitter (@lottogoodcauses #JustImagine) and Facebook Today, the video is the ninth in a series of 31 items to feature through January – one for each day of the month and each £1 billion of funding.

For anyone wanting to find out more about funded projects in their area, the National Lottery has launched a ‘Good Cause Finder’.  To see projects in your area, or to find out more about Just Imagine January, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk


Notes to the editor

Contacts

For press enquiries relating to the Just Imagine campaign:
Alex Bake alex.bake@fasttrackagency.com 07552 289 290
Jim Williams jim.williams@fasttrackagency.com   07814 068 349

For press enquiries relating to the National Lottery:
Michael Thompson, Head of Media at the National Lottery Promotions Unit, on 07734 295745.

About National Lottery ‘Just Imagine’

A range of imagery, video and animation is being released on www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk for ‘Just Imagine’, an innovative digital and social media campaign that is using a range of techniques to encourage the public to consider an alternative reality of what might have been if the National Lottery had not funded £31 billion across more than 420,000 arts, sport, heritage and voluntary projects across the UK.  The first phase of the campaign sees 31 items released daily through January – one for each day of the month and each £1 billion of funding.

The campaign will run through the first four months of the year, with further phases including an original animation movie telling the story of funding, and other “positively disruptive” digital techniques, according to a National Lottery spokesperson.

To enable people to learn more about National Lottery funded projects in their area, the National Lottery has launched a ‘Good Cause Finder’.  To see projects in your area, or to find out more about Just Imagine January, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk 

About the National Lottery Promotions Unit
The National Lottery Promotions Unit (NLPU) is responsible for raising awareness of Lottery funding to Good Causes. Amongst other initiatives, NLPU manages the National Lottery Awards.
National Lottery funding is awarded through 12 distributing bodies: Big Lottery Fund, UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport NI, Sportscotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, Arts Council NI, Creative Scotland and the British Film Institute.
Over £31 billion has been awarded to good cause projects across the UK since the launch of the National Lottery back in 1994.  Currently, £33 million of good cause funding is raised every week by National Lottery players.

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