"Every four years, the world goes to war. That war is called the Olympic Games."

So quoted Terry Hunter, Head Coach at Dorney Lake, where the Olympic and Paralympic rowing and canoeing events will take place in 2012. Like any war, however, the Games need a lot of funding – and that's where we come in. By following Team 2012, Causeway has the opportunity to help ensure our athletes have the provisions to help them train and compete to the best of their ability. Expecting over 30,000 people every day, Dorney Lake needs every penny of the £40-50 million budget it has been allocated. Including a temporary bridge for visitors, 7 kilometres of temporary perimeter fencing for added security and a pre-Games police sweep of the lake, preparations for the Games don't come cheap. Indeed, the 12-hour change over from rowing lanes to canoeing lanes alone will cost millions; "This changeover is vital, but it will happen overnight – literally." explained Terry. Yet it's not just the facilities that need funding to make the 2012 Games a success. Budding Olympic rower Tom Clark and Paralympic marksman Nathan Milgate both work part-time to fund their 30+ hours of training every week. Tom comments:

"The funding I receive is great, but having full funding would give me a chance to rest when I'm not training, rather than having to work!"

From the sounds of things, however, his diet alone should have a separate funding scheme; consuming over 8000 calories every day, Tom has to eat 5 meals (including a 'snack' of up to 8 slices of toast) to keep his energy levels up for his gruelling training routines. Of course, the sacrifice for greatness extends further than the sheer physicality of their training. Nathan remarks;

"I can't remember the last time I visited the pub with friends and had an orange juice, let alone a pint of beer!"

Having competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Nathan knows roughly what to expect this time around and is looking forward to competing on home turf:

"The sacrifices will be worth it, especially with the home advantage of friends, family and the nation who, though they don't know you personally, offer their unwavering support."

Finally, before we left, we were offered the opportunity to pit ourselves against Tom on a rowing machine. Although nobody had a hope of matching his pace, we did our best and came away with a Team 2012 badge as proof of our efforts. We are already looking forward to the next Team 2012 event!

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