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Ellie Simmonds will be the face of Sainsbury's Active Kids Campaign

Double Paralympic swimming champion Ellie Simmonds has been unveiled as the new face of a scheme to get more children involved in sport launched by Sainsbury's, a Tier One London 2012 sponsor of the Paralympics.

The 15-year-old from Walsall will feature in an advertising campaign leading up to London 2012 for "Sainsbury's Active Kids", which is now in its sixth year and has so far raised over £86 million ($134 million) which has been used to purchase new sports equipment aimed at encouraging children to take part in a healthy, active lifestyle.

Simmonds, who earlier this month in Eindhoven added four World Championship gold medals to the pair she had won at Beijing 2008, when she had become Britain 's youngest-ever Paralympic champion, was delighted to be involved.

She said: "I was really pleased when Sainsbury’s asked me to be the face of the Active Kids scheme.

"It’s a fantastic scheme that makes it easier for thousands of children across the country, to enjoy sport, regardless of abilities or fitness levels.

"Hopefully, by working with Active Kids, I’ll be able to help get more kids involved in activity and sport.”

Active Kids is based on providing vouchers to customers that schools and other organisations can exchange for sports, cooking and gardening equipment, and active experiences.

Last year over 39,000 nurseries, schools, Scout and Girl-guiding groups across the country took part in Active Kids, and Sainsbury’s donated £16.8 million ($26.1 million) of equipment and experiences.

Justin King, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said: "Following her double gold medals at Beijing , as well as her recent world record breaking success in the World Championships, Ellie is a truly inspirational athlete and we’re thrilled to welcome her on board as the face of our Active Kids scheme.

"As the first ever Paralympic Games-only sponsor, we want to raise the profile of Paralympic athletes to make this the best Paralympic Games yet, and Ellie’s involvement will certainly help us do this."


15 September, 2010