Articles - LV= sponsors Stevenage Olympic hopeful


Hitchin based retirement specialist LV= is sponsoring a local canoeist training for the 2012 Olympics

 Mario Santos Costa from Stevenage is already part of the Great Britain canoeing squad representing the UK worldwide, and hopes to qualify next year to make the Olympic team.

 Mario is currently training full time at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham  to compete in the Olympic 200m and 1000m canoeing disciplines. Mario has been canoeing for three and a half years, after making it through a group of 4000 hopefuls to gain a place on a fast-track training programme following a campaign from UK Sport to discover talent from across the country. LV='s sponsorship will help pay for Mario's day-to-day training and equipment.

 GB Canoeing sprint athlete Mario Santos Costa said: "My aim is to make it to an elite level and reach the Olympic team in just four years. It would normally be expected to take around eight years to become a world class athlete, so I only have half the time. I am already canoeing in the GB squad representing my country, and training hard for the 2012 games and beyond.

 "Sponsorship means a great deal and allows me to buy equipment such as training kit and a computer for video analysis, all things that help to improve my performance and achieve my goals. I am very grateful to LV= for supporting me in my journey. It can be hard to survive financially as an athlete because I devote all my time to training, so having LV= behind me makes a huge difference."

 Steve Knight, LV= chief operating officer in Hitchin, said: "As one of the largest employers in the area, we take a great deal of pleasure in being involved in local initiatives and are excited to be supporting Mario in his journey to the Olympics. We look forward to seeing how his training progresses."

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