The Jaguar Academy of Sport is delighted to announce that England rugby legend, Jonny Wilkinson, has joined the world-class list of sporting heroes as an Ambassador of the Jaguar Academy of Sport, ahead of the IRB Rugby World Cup 2011.

Jonny Wilkinson, who recently announced his retirement from International rugby, has been an integral member of the England rugby team for over a decade and is acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest rugby players. The player will be forever remembered as the star who kicked England to Rugby World Cup glory in Australia in 2003, scoring the winning drop goal against Australia in the last minute of extra time.

British rugby legend Jonny Wilkinson

With 86 England caps, Jonny has a wealth of experience on the pitch, which is demonstrated through his list of almost endless accolades. Following his triumphant drop goal in 2003, Jonny was named the 2003 IRB International Player of the Year. In 2004, he was awarded an OBE for his magnificent contribution to the England team’s achievement during the Rugby World Cup.

Jonny’s dedication and drive to the sport is renowned, demonstratingthe kind of performance that the Jaguar Academy of Sport hopes will inspire the next generation of British sportsmen and women. In particular, his skills and techniques which have made him a world-class rugby player, will be fundamental to the Mentoring and Education Programme, providing the Rising Stars with the support and knowledge that will help them to progress in their sporting career.

Jonny Wilkinson, commented: “I am thrilled to be involved with the Jaguar Academy of Sport. I can’t wait to get stuck into the Mentoring and Education Programme and meet our sporting stars of the future!”   The Jaguar Academy of Sport aims to recognise, celebrate and inspire the very best of British sporting talent and success. This is fulfilled through a Bursary Fund, which will support Britain’s upcoming sporting talent. Not only does the Academy provide funding to the next generation, but it is also designed to nurture and inspire them.

A Mentoring and Education Programme provides all the Rising Stars with the non-financial support they need in order to be successful. This support is provided through a selection of workshops and talent days focusing on key areas that will help young athletes move from talented to elite.

Geoff Cousins, Jaguar Global Director, Sponsorships & Brand Partnerscommented:“Jonny Wilkinson will be a great Ambassador for the Jaguar Academy of Sport. He demonstrates the level of commitment required to become successful in sport, and this kind of dedication will be a great inspiration for our Rising Stars. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome him on board.”