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Olympic and Paralympic athletes to become “ChangeMakers” across communities post-Paris 2024

The initiative will matchmake athletes to causes that reflect their passions (Image: Sport England)

Olympic and Paralympic athletes returning from this summer’s Paris 2024 Games will be supported to get out into their communities and make a difference to the causes they care about.

The ChangeMaker initiative will help athletes maximise their impact upon their return from the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and give back to the communities that have supported them.

Athletes can choose the social impact project they wish to support – which can be anything from grassroots sports projects to mental health initiatives and environmental programmes – and will be helped to make a difference to this cause back home in the UK in the two weeks immediately after the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The initiative will matchmake athletes to causes that reflect their passions and provide them with support to ensure that they can use their voice to make a difference.

The campaign is a partnership between The National Lottery’s operator, Allwyn, Team GB, ParalympicsGB and UK Sport. It is being made possible by Allwyn, which has pledged to set up an annual £1m Social Value Fund.

This will see the new operator create additional value to existing funding and collaborate with partners to amplify the overall impact that The National Lottery has on high streets and communities.

The ‘ChangeMaker’ initiative is the first programme launched, made possible by around half of the annual fund, with further initiatives to be rolled out with different partners across this summer.

Olympic Silver medallist Emily Campbell, one of many athletes who has voiced their passion for making a difference through social impact, said: “I’m really excited to be part of the ChangeMaker initiative. As athletes we put our heart and soul into representing our nation to make everyone proud, but we’re people too, each with our own passions outside of sport.

“I want to use my voice to empower more children, and young females specifically, to be strong, healthy and confident by having positive conversations about body image and tackling outdated opinions around female appearance and health.

“This summer’s Olympic & Paralympic Games will give athletes a platform to talk about the topics that mean a lot to them and I want to encourage my fellow Team GB and ParalympicsGB teammates to join me in this. It’s important that we give back to the communities that made us, like how I plan to open my own gym in Nottingham in the future, for all abilities and economic backgrounds, to explore making weightlifting accessible for all.”

Andria Vidler, CEO of National Lottery Operator, Allwyn, added: “Our incredible Olympic and Paralympic athletes will inspire a nation this summer and we look forward to supporting them to come back after the Games to uplift their communities through their passion.

“Working alongside UK Sport, Team GB and ParalympicsGB, we have seen that athletes are motivated by the impact that they can have as part of their community and want to do even more to support the causes they are passionate about. This programme will enable athletes to do just that.”

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