mccain uka_01-12-11July 21 - McCain today announced a five-year £5 millionsponsorship deal with UK Athletics, as first revealed on insidethegames last week.

The frozen food manufacturer, most famous for its oven chips, will become the principal partner of UK Athletics and title sponsor of the McCain Young Athletes League and McCain UK Challenge events in the build-up to the 2012 London Olympics.

McCain’s backing will support young UK athletes as they work to achieve their potential via participation in the McCain Young Athletes League and the McCain UK Challenge events, it was claimed.

In September 2008, former Olympic champion Sally Gunnell will launch McCain ‘Track & Field’: a nationwide campaign that it is hoped will make athletics more accessible to more people.

The 1992 Olympic 400 metres hurdles champion said: “I believe in balancing an active lifestyle with enjoying good food. 

"As a busy mum with three growing boys, I know all about the pressures that parents face in getting their children to eat healthily and get active and am delighted that McCain has joined forces with UK Athletics to help support them and encourage everyone to get into the sport I love.”

The Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: “I fully support this partnership between McCain and UK Athletics, which I hope will encourage those who would not normally consider athletics to get involved in the sport.

"I hope it succeeds in finding and nurturing the champions of the future and developing grass roots talent in UK athletics in the run up to the Olympics in 2012."

Ed Warner, the chairman of UK Athletics said:“UK Athletics is delighted to announce this principal partnership, which will have an immediate impact on the development and nurturing of UK grassroots athletics talent. 

"This is a partner that shares the same vision as UK athletics – that of a healthier Britain.”

Nick Vermont, the regional chief officer at McCain, said: “Our consumers understand that we make good, simple food.

"We feel we have a role to play in promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle to our consumers, ensuring that they are leading an active life as well as enjoying good food.”