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Golden girl Dame Kelly Holmes is set to launch a sporting season of enlightening lectures at Sheffield Hallam University.

The double Olympic champion will kick off the 'Lighting the Flame' lectures on February 11, a series of talks that will also include audiences with the controller of sport at Channel Five and top sports scientists from the UK and China.

Actively involved in encouraging young people to get involved in sport and discovering potential medalists for the 2012 Olympics, modest Kelly rarely talks about herself and her record-breaking achievements. She prefers to let her coaching and experience provide the inspiration to the nation's next track idols.

The event promises to be a unique evening as Kelly provides an insight into her own personal success and how she fought pain and setbacks to achieve the ultimate goal in athletics. The City of Sport also holds special meaning for Kelly. She broke the British 1500 metres record at Don Valley Stadium in 1997 and a decade later chose the same venue to run her last professional race.

In Olympic and European Football Championship year, Sheffield Hallam is keen to use its international reputation within the worlds of sport and active lifestyles, to encourage conversation and debate in the city and beyond. Kelly Holmes will pass the baton to three more sporting experts who are at the top of their game.


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Robert Charles, Channel Five's controller of sport, will talk about the huge sums of money involved in sports broadcasting and how much influence the media have on events. Professor Mingxiao Bao, a director of the Chinese Institute of Sport Science in Beijing, will share his special insights into the 2008 Olympics and Sheffield's involvement. The University's very own Professor Steve Haake will conclude the season in July with a fascinating look at technology and sport and just how far it can be pushed before it is considered cheating.

For press information: contact the University's press office on 0114 225 2811 or email