Vote in the British Airways Great Britons Programme

Voting fever has hit the UK in the local elections and after you have cast your all-important vote, you may well be in the mood to judge a different type of contest.


A variety of Great British talent from wakeboarders to urban artists, and pistol shooters to inventors, make up the final eight in the British Airways Great Britons Programme, now open to public vote.

Launched in February with Sir Chris Hoy, the British Airways Great Britons Programme supports budding talent with a  £500,000 travel fund offering 180 free flights a year until 2012.

Artists to athletes and community workers to fashion designers

Denise Lewis and Jeremy Giley considered hundreds of applications ranging from artists to athletes and community workers to fashion designers, to shortlist the final eight. Up for public vote are:

Adebanji Alade a graduate from Heatherley School of Fine Art in Chelsea;

Georgina Geikie, a pistol shooter from Devon with dreams of competing in the London 2012 Olympics. However, as .22 guns are banned in the UK, she needs to travel to Zurich to practice;

He received the coveted Daily Mail Designer of the Year 2005, now Oliver Blackwell from Bridgetown in Wales needs flights to Hong Kong to pursue his latest invention – the ‘washdryiron';

Sixteen-year-old Victoria Young from Middlesex is ranked 3rd Ladies World Champion in Wakeboarding, Flights to Miami will help her train for the forthcoming European Championships;

Shabana Islam from Clapham is working on a Skin Disease project and needs support to travel to The Coalition of Skin Diseases HQ in Washington D.C to progress this;

A triathlete with high ambitions, Jodie Swallow would like to visit Dallas to train – did we mention Daley Thomspon is her coach; Creater and organiser of the ‘Paint for Parkinson's Award', Londoner Soula Zavacopoulos would like to travel to Canada to incorporate ‘the rockies' in her work;

Forty-year-old Simon Hayhoe's ambitions to raise awareness about the visually impaired can take off if he receives flights to New York.

Last round, 16-year-old Daniel Dolan – a ballet dancer from Widnes received tickets to fly to Moscow to train with the Bloshoi Ballet. Additionally, the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team achieved success with complimentary flights to Geneva to help them train.

Once again, the finalist with the most votes will secure free flights to their desired destination to help reach their goal. Voting is open until June 9 at

There is still plenty of time to register your application, or re-submit an existing one as winners are selected every two months until 2012.

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