Date with the PM
Tony Stephenson from Lisburn meets up
with Prime Minister Gordon Brown during his visit to
London last week.
LISBURN teenager Tony Stephenson got a
special surprise when he went to London last week to collect a
top award by coming face to face with the Prime Minister Gordon
The 17-year-old travelled to the capital as
one of the UK School Games Champion Ambassadors, a role he
earned following his outstanding performance at last year's
Games where he was the boys singles gold medallist.
Tony was one of eight of the 12 ambassadors
who attended a House of Commons reception hosted by the former
sports minister and current UK School Games president Richard
Caborn MB but prior to that they were each given the opportunity
to meet the PM.
Mr Brown has been a keen supporter of the UK
School Games, having visited the first ever event in 2006 in
Glasgow and last year announced the winning cities for future
Games, of which the third will be staged in Bristol and Bath
"Mr Brown asked us about our training
schedules and what sports we all do," said Tony. This was a
really special moment and will definitely be very memorable. I
find it quite an honour to be named an ambassador and also to be
the only one from Northern Ireland.
"Coventry was the only Games I competed in
and unfortunately I will be too old for this year's event in
Bristol and Bath but I hope my role as ambassador will help me
make the Games an amazing occasion for future competitors.
"I can't say enough what an amazing
experience it was, it's so well organised and just a lot of
Along with the other ambassadors Tony will now
play an active role in contributing to the future development of
the UK School Games and raise its profile as patrons, while
meeting annually with Mr Caborn to provide an insight into the
event as part of the Athletes Commission.
The, minister said: "The annual Games give
Britain's best school-age athletes the opportunity to compete
against each other - and show the rest of the country how
talented they are.
"The UK School Games Champion Ambassador
programme recognises the performances of those outstanding
athletes across each sport who will become role models for their
peers, help champion this inspirational event and, we hope, go
on to win medals at major elite events."
It is expected that each ambassador will
serve for between one and three years, with future nominations
being made by the National Governing Bodies and Home Country
Sports Councils, which will then be considered by the panel and
each year worthy Champion will be invited to become an