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Media centre home > News > Our mission: Britain's most successful Olympics ever

Issued:23/01/09

Baroness Sue Campbell this week pledged to do everything in her power to make London 2012 the most successful Olympic Games for British athletes in history.

The chair of UK Sport was addressing students of Sheffield Hallam University at the third annual PE, Sport Development and Coaching conference. She outlined her goals for British sport in the run up to London 2012, and her passionate ambitions for the event itself.

"Our ambition for 2012 is fairly simple," she said. "We have a mission. We want Great Britain to be the most successful it has ever been at any Olympic and Paralympic Games. We want to hear the national anthem played more times than it has ever been played before. I believe we will do that. I absolutely know we're on the right course to do that."

Along with articulating her goals for the next Olympics, Baroness Campbell also cautioned that British sporting culture must change if the country is to fulfill its true potential.

"One of the key dimensions to elite success is culture. We must try to get away from this British culture where it is OK to do your best and come second. Well it isn't. Can we always be first? That's a different question, but I don't want to be second. I want to be the best we can be."

Her audience was made up of sports students, academics and professionals, and Baroness Campbell identified the role the assembled students could play in the future of UK sport.

"We want to see more athletes realise their dreams - dreams that start with a good PE teacher in school," she said. "And in the past, British Sport has been torn apart simply because we've not been able to agree with each other. So please, please, whatever role you take in your future, let's try to get a co-operative way of working."

Head of UK Sport Baroness Sue Campbell, speaking at Sheffield Hallam

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Sponsored by Sport Works UK, the conference also featured keynote speeches by former triple-jumper Jonathan Edwards, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust Steve Grainger, and a panel event featuring Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington. Baroness Campbell concluded her speech by identifying what she believes is the defining feature of an elite athlete's success.

"The biggest secret to success is that there is no secret," she said. "There's no single defining action, no grand programme, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, and no miracle moment. It's down to ambition and determination."

Baroness Campbell is a former international player and coach in both athletics and netball. She became Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust in 1995 and then Chairman in 2005, and has been Chairman of UK Sport since 2003. She was appointed to the House of Lords for her services to UK sport in 2008.

The PE, Sport Development and Coaching conference was also supported by The Arches School Partnership, Links School Partnership, Points School Partnership, Forge School Partnership and Kitlocker.com.

For press information contact: Joe Field on 0114 225 2074 or email pressoffice@shu.ac.uk