G4S 4teen mentor Haile Gebrselassie visits London
London welcomed a special visitor this week when G4S 4teen mentor Haile Gebrselassie paid a special visit to the host of this summer’s London 2012 Olympic Games.
Haile made his visit immediately following the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo, The Netherlands, where he finished with a seventh place in the 10,000m, which was not enough to qualify him to run at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Ethiopian team. He had previously attempted to qualify in the Marathon, but did not secure a fast enough time to do so.
Still smiling, Haile said, “Inside it is hard, but what can I do? I have many other commitments and I have many other things that take up space in my life now.”
One of the most important roles Haile has taken on since 2007 is that as the mentor to the G4S 4teen programme, which is helping 14 young athletes achieve their dream of competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The G4S 4teen athletes, from a variety of different backgrounds, compete in a number of different Olympic sports and have been supported by G4S since 2007. In addition to the financial backing that they receive from G4S, the athletes receive money-can’t-buy experiences to help them reach their full potential as athletes, and also forms of support to help them outside of sport, such as English lessons and computer classes.
Haile’s visit to London included a number of activities with G4S, beginning with a short run with some of the members of the G4S Olympic Workforce. He also visited the Olympic Park, met with G4S CEO Nick Buckles, and met with a number of media including CNN, Time, and national press correspondents.
Although he will not take part in the London 2012 Games as an athlete, Haile is looking forward to supporting the athletes that he has mentored since 2007 and watching them take the stage here in the UK, which holds a special place in Haile’s heart.
“I have been sharing my experience with these athletes for many years now,” Haile said. “If I can help one of them win an Olympic medal – now, that is the dream.
“I have competed in the UK a number of times in Manchester, Birmingham, Crystal Palace and the London Marathon is the best one for marathon runners,” he said. “The organisation is always so good and I always look forward to competing here. I know that the London Olympic Games is going to be one of the best ones yet. There is a lot of history behind a London Olympics and this one is going to be great.”
Find out more about the G4S 4teen programme on www.g4ssport.com