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Friendly way to reach the top

Legendary Welsh hurdler Colin Jackson may have hung up his spikes after a glittering career but he still has one winning asset - his little black book.

Jacko, as his sporting pals know him, may have had many enemies on the starting line but he has always made a rule of leaving sporting rivalry on the circuit. In a career spanning more than 18 years, the Cardiff-born athlete has made many friends on and off the track. He is now using those contacts to motivate Welsh schoolchildren to reach for the stars.

The former Olympian is the face of a new website which aims to inspire young people to give 100 per cent to everything they do, whether it be sport or homework. Advice on reaching the top comes from the lips of sporting idols such as double-Olympic champion, Dame Kelly Holmes, and Wales Grand Slam winning rugby coach Mike Ruddock.

The website also features the achievements of top professionals from other fields. In the music world, garage star DJ Spoony tells how he was inspired by his golfing hero. And personal trainers to the stars explain how they have inspired the rich and famous to make life changes.

Through a collection of video clips, diaries and interviews, it is hoped the website will not only help aspiring Olympic champions realise their aims but encourage Welsh students to pass exams.

Called Raise Your Game, it has been produced by BBC Wales's education and lifelong learning department, with financial backing from the Assembly.

Jocelyn Andrews, the producer, said: "All this is down to Colin Jackson and his little black book. It is all about capturing the 'can do' feeling from heroes."

Now a TV presenter, Colin Jackson said: "I truly hope the website helps motivate a future star."

Jane Davidson, minister for education and lifelong learning, who attended the launch, said: "I am a great fan of learning by stealth. For too long sport has been separated from the world of academia."

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