Olympian Mark Hunter MBE becomes SAS ambassador
SAS, Official Analytics Partner of British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team, has welcomed former Olympic gold medal-winning rower, Mark Hunter MBE, as its official ambassador. Hunter will represent SAS in the build-up to, during and post the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to help publicise the market-leading expertise that SAS is providing to help the Team better understand the way it uses its performance data to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals.
Hunter, from Forest Gate, East London can count winning gold at Beijing 2008 and silver at London 2012 – both alongside partner Zac Purchase in the Lightweight Double Sculls – amongst his career highlights. As well as Olympic glory, the 37-year-old also boasts two World Championship and five World Cup gold medals.
On his appointment, Hunter commented: "I'm thrilled to be working with SAS to help promote its association with British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team. Analysis of my training data, particularly in the years building up to Beijing 2008 and London 2012, was absolutely crucial to the medals that Zac [Purchase] and I won.
"SAS is working closely with the GB Rowing Team's sports science, coaching and medical staff, with a clear focus on performance gains. I'm sure that this partnership will contribute to medals at next summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil, as the Team looks to continue its success on the world stage."
Rachel Lockwood, Marketing Director at SAS UK & Ireland, said: "We're delighted to welcome Mark as our ambassador. He is someone who is hugely passionate about the sport and knows only too well the small margins that exist between a gold and a silver medal. We know that he's a big advocate of preparing in the best way possible, which includes looking at and analysing all the available data to make quicker and smarter decisions."
Having retired from competitive rowing in 2013, Hunter is currently programme director of sports charity, London Youth Rowing (LYR) – an initiative which encourages young people to experience the sport, and ultimately perform to their full potential. The East London-raised, West Ham United and San Francisco 49ers fanatic, who was made an MBE in 2009 for his services to rowing, sees his work with LYR as his chance to give back to the sport that has provided him with so many opportunities.
Hunter continued: "As well as making its cutting-edge data analytics software available to the GB Rowing Team's coaches and rowers, SAS is also supporting the wider development of the sport at grass roots level by using data to boost club membership, and assist in the identification of new talent. In my opinion this can only be seen as a hugely positive step for the sport, as it's vital that we can continue to identify the very best young British rowers out there."
For further information on SAS' partnership with British Rowing and the GB Rowing Team please visit www.sas.com/uk.
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