By Duncan Mackay

Dai Greene_with_GB_flag_Daegu_2011April 17 - British medal hopes like Jessica Ennis and Dai Green (pictured) will not have to worry about their nearest and dearest missing them chasing Olympic glory at London 2012 after UK Athletics announced today that it would buy tickets to ensure friends and families can be in there to watch them compete.

Athletes currently receive two tickets for their first Games appearance through the British Olympic Association, but UK Athletics (UKA) will now pay for two tickets for every subsequent athletics round.

"This is essentially a performance decision - the last thing we want athletes to be worrying about is the cost or availability of tickets for their mum and dad, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife," said Niels de Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics, as he made the announcement to coincide with tomorrow's 100 days to go until the start of the Games celebrations.

"But it is also about recognising that without the massive support and sacrifice of friends and family, over many years, most athletes would never have made it to elite level.

"As soon as UKA heard we could access these tickets from the organisers we made the decision to purchase them on behalf of our team, so no athlete need worry about either the availability or cost of getting their loved ones in to the Stadium."

With a total of 20 athletics sessions, including race walking and marathon, within the London 2012 Olympic Games schedule, athletes could receive up to five pairs of tickets.

Holly Bleasdale_posing_with_poles
Among those who hoped that the initiative would help boost her performance is Holly Bleasdale (pictured), the world indoor pole vault bronze medallist.

"I'm so happy to hear this," she said.

"For me having people close to me there and supporting me is a big boost.

"I always compete to my best when I'm at my happiest so to hear this is great.

"It means that making the final I can have my mum and dad there watching me which is a massive confidence boost."

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