SARAH HOLT is one of 344 British Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls currently backed by the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative.

And she’s among the 80% of them who believe London 2012 will have a positive impact on future sport participation in this country.

Research carried out by Lloyds TSB in association with SportsAid also shows that 68% of the Local Heroes say the prospect of next year’s Games has had a noticeable impact on people living in their area.

Meanwhile 73% of them say competition has intensified as the event draws closer.

Holt said: “The 2012 Games have been a huge motivation for me ever since London was announced as the host city (in 2005).

“To have the Games in our country is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I think it’s having an effect on people across Britain.

“For me to be recognised by Lloyds TSB is fantastic and it has given me a real boost in pursuing my dream of competing for Team GB in London next year.”

As well as receiving a £1,000 annual award, Local Heroes benefit from practical advice given by former Olympic and Paralympic medalists.

By the start of London 2012 a year today, more than 1,000 will have been through the Local Heroes programme.