Marathon winner to Inspire a NationSubscribe
UK Sport International 16 August 2012
Stephen Kiprotich, who made history on Sunday by becoming only the second Ugandan ever to win a gold medal at an Olympic Games, will continue the legacy of his remarkable win, as he becomes an ambassador for the London 2012 legacy programme, International Inspiration, in Uganda.
Stephen was crowned winner of the Men’s Marathon event at the Closing Ceremony of the London Games in front of over 1 billion people worldwide, who watched the Ugandan flag rise into the night sky. The impact of his global recognition has caused quite a stir with the Ugandan media, who praised him for bringing his country to the attention of the world. Building on his achievement at this year’s Games, Stephen will return to Uganda as an International Inspiration ambassador, promoting the importance of sport to young people.
The Ugandan government is currently working in partnership with UK Sport, UNICEF and British Council through International Inspiration, to promote sport at school and use sport to deliver crucial educational messages around issues affecting young people, such as the rights of girls and the importance of staying in school. Stephen feels that the mindset of young people needs to change so that they develop a more positive attitude towards sport as a route to personal development.
“In Uganda, we still have the stigma that sport is not good. Many people want to excel in academics and do not see the link between doing well in school and sport. Sport has given me self-esteem and the opportunity to travel. I have been trained by coaches around the world, which have made a great impact on me,” said Stephen.
Deputy Chairman of London 2012 and Chairman of the International Inspiration Foundation, Sir Keith Mills, believes Kiprotich’s involvement in the programme will inspire youth around the world. “When Stephen crossed the finish line on Sunday he became an inspirational icon, who has fought many challenges on his road to success whilst embodying the spirit and values of sport and International Inspiration. The impact of his win will be hugely powerful in Uganda, so we are very excited to welcome him to the team,” he said.
Stephen will join international athletes, including South African sprint runner, Oscar Pistorius and former British Olympic champions Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson, as ambassadors for the first social legacy programme of an Olympic Games.
The International Inspiration programme has been running in Uganda since 2011 and aims to enrich the lives of 1 million children and young people through increased access to high quality and inclusive PE and play in both schools and communities.
Visit the UK Sport website to find out more.