Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis has pledged to help young people improve their lives in her new role as an Ambassador for Sky Sports Living for Sport.
Ennis, who stormed to heptathlon glory for Great Britain at London 2012, will champion the UK-wide, free initiative which aims to motivate children so they fulfil their potential.
This academic year, a third of all UK secondary schools will participate in Sky Sports Living for Sport, which is run in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.
As a national sporting hero, Ennis hopes that her success can inspire even more children to become more engaged, learn new skills and achieve better grades.
"I want to use the momentum we all gained from Team GB's performance at the Olympic Games to show that sport really can make a difference to young people's lives in so many ways," said the 26-year-old.
"Sport has the power to help build confidence, self-respect and improve behaviour. Sky Sports Living for Sport is using sport to do just that and that's why I am really excited to have teamed up with them to get more schools all over the UK to join up.
"Over the next few months I am looking forward to getting out there and engaging with lots of schools and young people to encourage them to give different sports a try - I can't wait!"
Ennis will now team up with fellow Sky Sports Living for Sport Ambassador and Olympic champion Darren Campbell to advocate and support the work of 50 Athlete Mentors who are already using their life-changing stories and sports skills to motivate and inspire students in schools across the UK.
Among the Mentors taking part are hockey striker Alex Danson, who won bronze with Team GB at the Olympics, plus boxer Natasha Jonas, diver Peter Waterfield, footballer Casey Stoney and wheelchair rugby captain Steve Brown, all of whom competed at London 2012.
Since the initiative launched in 2003, over 50,000 young people have benefitted by using sport to improve their lives.
The key areas of focus for the initiative are: attainment and achievement, health and wellbeing, self-esteem and encouraging pupils to reach their full potential.
Of the young people who have taken part so far:
- 96 per cent have shown improvements in self-confidence and attitudes to learning
- 90 per cent have shown an increase in health and wellbeing
- 51 per cent have been inspired to join a sports team
- 48 per cent have been inspired to mentor another young person
This Saturday, Ennis will appear in an advert on Sky Sports with students who have taken part in the initiative. To watch Jessica in action and find out more about Sky Sports Living for Sport - including how you can sign your school up to the initiative - visit www.skysports.com/livingforsport.
Take a look at our profile of Jessica Ennis here.