Olympic champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and double Paralympic gold medallist Richard Whitehead MBE teamed up with iconic BBC children’s television show Blue Peter to launch the official mascot design competition for this summer’s World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships London 2017. The two will run the rule over all entries as part of a judging panel with representatives from London 2017 Ltd, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and IAAF and Blue Peter on the lookout for two mascot designs – one for each Championships.
Participants aged 6-15 will have until Friday February 10 to submit their designs with the best ten entries from three age groups selected to go before a second round of judging.
As well as seeing their designs come to life and getting the chance to meet their creations along with a competing athlete, the lucky winner will receive four tickets to a session at either Championships, a VIP tour of the London Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a framed photo of the finished mascots and a Blue Peter orange competition badge.
The winner will be revealed live on Blue Peter April 20 and judge Ennis-Hill is relishing an altogether different challenge to the one she faced on the track. “I’m so excited to be part of the judging panel for the London 2017 mascot design competition” Dame Jessica said.
I think it is great the Organisers are asking children to design the mascots and as a mum I love the idea of youngsters becoming part of the Championships by designing the mascots. I hope that I can help choose a design that will become an iconic face of the Championships.”
Whitehead believes his role as a judge adds to the already grand excitement of this year’s Championships saying; “I love the idea of running at a championships knowing I’ve been part of the creation
Children are so creative and I’ve no doubt the Blue Peter competition will come up with two great mascots for athletes and spectators to engage with.”
Blue Peter Editor Ewan Vinnicombe said: “This competition pays homage to those Blue Peter Sport badge winners who have shown unequivocal enthusiasm whilst inspiring their friends and family to take up sport.
Our viewers have continuously shown their creativity and innovation when tasked with extraordinary opportunities and I know that these new mascots are going to be the finest supporters to our sporting heroes.”
The World Para Athletics Championships run from 14-23 July at the London Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the IAAF World Championships following at the same venue from 4-13 August to mark the biggest sporting event of the year.
The biggest event to be staged at the London Stadium since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – it is the first time both Championships have been held in the same city with over 3,000 athletes from over 200 nations competing over 20 days of action.