Greenwich Olympic pair backing London Youth Games deal

News Shopper: Gemma Gibbons and Zoe Smith meet youngsters set to take part in this summer's Games Gemma Gibbons and Zoe Smith meet youngsters set to take part in this summer's Games

Greenwich Olympic judo medallist Gemma Gibbons and European and Commonwealth weightlifting medallist Zoe Smith were both guests of the London Youth Games at the London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park.

The event was being held to mark Balfour Beatty extending its title sponsorship with the London Youth Games until 2016, bringing the company’s total investment in the competition to more than £4million.

In this period the number of participants at Europe’s largest annual youth sports event has more than quadrupled from 27,045 in 2007 to 114,295 in 2013.

Balfour Beatty’s sponsorship also includes GamesForce, the organisation’s volunteer programme which was launched in 2009 and last year featured 2916 individuals.

Gibbons and Smith were joined by current London Youth Games athletes at the iconic London Aquatics Centre, which was both constructed for the London 2012 Olympic Games and refurbished for community use by Balfour Beatty.

Chairman of the London Youth Games Foundation Anthony Kendall said: “We have been able to fulfil many of our ambitions for youth sport in London in recent years thanks to our partnership with Balfour Beatty.

“Without their support we would have been unable to drive up the number of young people from every community now engaged in sporting and volunteer activity.

“With Balfour Beatty’s continued support, we can now look towards 2016 with even greater ambitions as we strive for young people from every school in London to be involved in our competition, volunteering or cultural programmes.”

Follow @NewsShopperSprt on Twitter to keep up to speed with how Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham are getting on in this year’s London Youth Games

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