Dancers flat-footed after fake offer to take part in Olympics exposed


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The Independent Online

Up to 75 young people aged between nine and 19 have been conned into believing they could take part in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, police said yesterday.

Detectives from Operation Podium – the specialist unit which investigates Olympic-orientated crime – said the children and teenagers had started rehearsing for the August event.

A man and a woman, aged 35 and 31, were arrested yesterday for allegedly making the offers to dance schools in the Northamptonshire area posing as a Midlands-based company called the RWB Project.

Police are also looking into claims that companies across the UK were approached to provide sponsorship.

Detective Superintendent Nick Downing from Operation Podium said: "Our investigation to date has shown that three dance schools have signed up to what they believed to be participating in the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Up to 75 children aged nine to 19 had been rehearsing.

"For many of those affected this will be incredibly disappointing news and will cause concern and sadness."

The dance schools named were The Dance Factory, Sinead Loughnane Academy and Kilburn School of Dance."