Thompson to tutor future athletes

Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK

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Thompson believes he can help find future medallists
Double Olympic champion Daley Thompson has revealed he will take an active role in guiding and inspiring the next generation of British athletes.
Thompson, who won decathlon gold at the 1980 and 1984 Games, will visit athletics clubs and universities before holding training camps in September.

Thompson said: "When I was a kid I only wanted to be Olympic champion. Most kids today don’t aim high enough.

“I think I can give them self belief and make them more professional.”

Thompson believes his experience is vital to finding and nurturing the next generation of British stars, who will take centre stage at the 2012 Olympics.

A squad of 58 athletes brought back three gold medals and one bronze from the 2004 Games in Athens but more will be expected on home soil in six years time.

"Everybody realises we’re struggling at the moment, and people keep talking about the 2012 Olympics, " said Thompson.

"I’ve spoken to some of the others (who have starred for Britain in the past) and we know the most under-utilised asset we have is our experience.

“Many people I know would be more than happy to help but have never been asked.”

UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins has remedied that by holding talks with both Thompson and Linford Christie about coaching roles.

A mentoring scheme to develop up-and-coming athletes is in the pipeline and an official announcement will be made this season.