Hunter signs up as Sports Ambassador

Olympic champion Mark Hunter MBE has joined the ranks of the West Ham United Foundation as Sports Ambassador
West Ham United will this weekend be celebrating its annual Foundation Awareness match against Sunderland, marking another milestone in what has already been a momentous 25th anniversary year for the West Ham United Foundation.

To honour the anniversary in style, the Foundation is delighted to reveal that Olympic champion rower Mark Hunter MBE is to become its brand new Sports Ambassador. 

Hunter, a lifelong Hammers fan, will be an inspirational figure to the local young people and the perfect example of just what is achievable. The 36-year-old is thrilled to be climbing aboard at such a poignant time and cannot wait to get stuck in. 

“I’m really excited,” he confirmed. “To have been a fan of the Club since I was a kid and now I’ve the opportunity to actually come back and give something back to the Club.  It's a very special year, with it being the 25th anniversary and hopefully many more years to come. 

“Twenty-five years is a long time and just look how that's evolved over time, what with the new brand and the new name. It's an exciting time for the Club anyway, with the move coming in about 18 months’ time to the new Stadium. So things are developing and young people will have the opportunity to be in that Olympic Park when we move there, that's a big catchment as well.” 
Forest Gate-born Hunter, who is also an ambassador for London Youth Rowing (LYR), says he wants to open youngsters’ eyes to the possibilities outside of football. To learn more about LYR or to get involved, visit their pop-up stand outside the Boleyn Ground this weekend. 

The Foundation, of course, works across all manner of activities and Hunter believes there is something for everyone.  

He explained: “We’re trying to change the perception that it's just about football, there's so much more that the Foundation does in getting kids active, from all different walks of life. 

“Obviously, with my background being rowing, we're trying to get some youngsters doing that as well. But it's mainly about having the variety and more options available than just kicking a ball about, there's a lot more to it. 

“It can transform their perception of what's possible. Give them a chance to try something new, things that they may never have thought about. If they get to try a different activity, they find something they like and they go off on a different path.”  

So what’s the plan for Hunter in his new ambassadorial role? It’s simple. Get East London kids active and learn a thing or two on the way as well.    

“I want to get involved as much as possible,” he added. “I want to learn things. We always think that we're teaching the kids but they'll be teaching us as well, sharing the values that they have. It's give and take. 

“The plan is to get as many kids as possible from the East End active and enjoying being a part of the Foundation and a part of West Ham.”      

The Hammers will be sporting West Ham United Foundation T-shirts during their pre-match warm-up and half-time entertainment will be provided in the form of a penalty shootout with the charity’s many partners.  

Supporters coming along on Saturday should also keep their eyes peeled for a bucket collection prior to kick-off and for flyers on how they can help support West Ham’s work in the community. 

For all the very latest goings on, follow the West Ham United Foundation on Twitter at @WHU_Foundation