True role model

HOW delightful to read of the fantastic achievements of one of our young swimmers, Charlotte Harrison (January 9). Her club and family must be very proud of her. So often we see the negative side of our youth culture depicted in the media. It is refreshin

HOW delightful to read of the fantastic achievements of one of our young swimmers, Charlotte Harrison (January 9). Her club and family must be very proud of her.

So often we see the negative side of our youth culture depicted in the media. It is refreshing to see how someone so young can be so focused and dedicated to strive for such worthy ambitions.

It is representative, I suspect, of a momentum of activity occurring across our nation among some of our youngest and most dedicated sports men and women. Most definitely prompted by the 2012 Olympics, there will be thousands attending gymnasiums, swimming pools and athletic clubs throughout the UK, sacrificing nearly all of their free time because they have developed a desire and passion to represent their nation and maybe stand with pride on the medal rostrum.

Such ambitions will be the real legacy of London 2012 - what an important benefit, if the vast financial cost of 2012 motivates a generation to put down the Gameboy, switch off the television and relinquish the craving for fast food.

The attention of the general public is rarely directed by the media towards the many individual accomplishments of our young people. All too often the preference is to represent them as a group or members of gangs, the constant perpetrators of gun-crime, drug culture and vandalism, living on the fringes of our society. How wrong that is.

It is the likes of Charlotte Harrison and many others that are the true role models to their peers, and it is up to us to champion their achievements constantly.

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ALAN PICKERING, Brookside, Alconbury

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