Round six Great Britons winners are...

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The Independent Online

Have you got what it takes to be a Great Briton? Morgan Parkerson and artist Robin Footitt have – and they’ve won flights that could transform their careers

Are you ready for the next Olympic Games? British Airways is. BA is the official airline partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and, to celebrate, the airline has launched a search for excellence called Great Britons, offering flights to make the winners’ dreams come true. Great Britons winners are being chosen regularly up until the 2012 Games.

The competition is open to every UK resident aged 16 and over who needs support to develop their talent in their chosen field. The categories are sport, fashion, performing arts, art and design, innovation and community, so there’s room for everyone to shine.

The judges are looking for talented individuals and groups who epitomise the values associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games and who strive to be the best. Only those who can demonstrate that they’re determined, competitive and courageous enough to follow their dreams will win. The winners receive flights to British Airways destinations and use of its luxury Executive Club lounges, plus a winner’s pack, which includes a Panasonic SD camcorder for recording their incredible journey.

One of the Great Britons judges is Denise Lewis, who won a gold medal in the Heptathlon at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, despite injuring her Achilles tendon shortly before and being advised by her doctor not to compete.

“I got involved in Great Britons because I’m an Olympian and I know what it takes to have a passion and to need someone’s support and help to realise your dream,” she says.

“I want to be involved in inspiring not only sportspeople to get to the London 2012 Games, but also bringing the Olympic Games to regular people. If they can display Olympic values – goal setting and working hard towards those goals – then I want to be a part of that.”

Reflecting on her own career in athletics, she continues: “You get setbacks along the way and sometimes it takes one person or event to give you that lift to reaffirm that what you’re doing is the right thing and that you should continue striving to achieve your goals.

“It’s important that an iconic brand such as British Airways is doing something to draw out people’s passions and inspire them. Everyone deserves an opportunity to strive for their goals and be the best they can.”

Morgan Parkerson - Sport

Morgan Parkerson started playing softball at school and is now a member of the Great Britain National Softball Team. She’s won flights for the team to North America so they can compete in the 2010 Women’s Softball World Championships, the first time they’ve qualified for the tournament.

“What I love most about the game is that there are so many different aspects to it,” Parkerson says. “The GB team is an amazing group of players and staff – each one of them works tirelessly to make the team better.

“Sixteen teams will compete at the World Championships and the other 15 will have public funding. Only the GB team will have nothing. The flights are a major cost and winning 16 flights through Great Britons should make all the difference.”

View Morgan Parkerson's inspiring entry HERE

Robin Footitt - Art and design

Artist Robin Footitt was an intern at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 2006 and has wanted to return to the city ever since. He’s won flights so he can go back to the Big Apple and immerse himself in its thriving arts scene.

“I have experienced a lot since MoMA,” Footitt says. “I completed an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art and a studio residency in Paris and I’m now doing a studio residency in London, but I want to build on my experience of New York and see whether it’s possible to extend my studio work independently abroad.

“I’d like to make frequent visits to New York over the next year. Winning these flights will potentially alter my future in ways I cannot foresee.”

View Robin Footitt's inspiring entry HERE

If you think you have what it takes to be a Great Briton, tell us your story and apply now at