By Duncan Mackay

Fran_Halsall_with_name_on_hatJune 16 - Britain's swimmers, like Fran Halsall, are set to receive more tickets so their families can watch them compete at London 2012 after the British Olympic Association (BOA) and British Swimming announced they are dedicating a substantial part of their allocation of tickets to competitors.

There had been controversy that the swimmers, unlike those competing in other sports where London 2012 are making two tickets per athlete available, are only receiving one because of the lack of capacity in the Aquatics Centre and the popularity of the sport.

All Britain's GB athletes, across all 26 sports, will now be able to purchase two tickets for each session in which they are competing – a position unique to Team GB.

"We fully recognise the importance to our athletes of having their close family and friends in the stadium to support them during what will, for many, be the greatest moment of their sporting careers," said Andy Hunt, Britain's Chef de Mission for London 2012.

"The British Olympic Association has worked very hard in partnership with British Swimming to ensure that Team GB's swimmers will have the same access to tickets as all the other sports and I am delighted that we have been able to achieve a positive result by allocating the clear majority of the swimming tickets that we have access to, to Team GB swimmers' family and friends.

"We want to do everything possible to make certain tickets do not become a considerable distraction to athletes who are now training for the biggest competition of their lives and, in many cases, attempting to secure qualification for the 2012 Olympics."

Earlier this month, as reported on insidethegames, Laurie Denton, who is the grandfather of a swimmer hoping to compete in the Olympics, had urged the public to write to Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt to protest about the situation. 

"British Swimming were determined to support our athletes and their parents and close friends, and we were delighted to work in collaboration with the BOA in ensuring that each athlete had two tickets for the Games," said David Sparkes, the chief executive of British Swimming.

"The athletes can now focus on their preparation for what promises to be a fantastic show in the pool with outstanding performances from one of the best prepared and supported teams in the swimming world."

The BOA is now working with the sports and London 2012 to put in place an effective system for the management of the distribution of tickets that will allow Team GB's athletes to remain fully focused on their performance and not have to worry about, or be distracted by, the management and distribution of tickets to their family and friends.

"A Home Games will only come once in our lifetime and as athletes it is really important to have the support of friends and family close by," said Sarah Winckless, the head of the BOA Athletes' Commission.

"It can make the crucial difference to your performance.

"This represents another significant step forward in the BOA's support of Team GB and is great news for Team GB swimmers.

"It is pleasing that all Team GB athletes are now in a position of equality with regard to access to tickets."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
June 2011: Farah family miss out on London 2012 Olympic tickets
June 2011: Exclusive - Public urged to protest to Culture Minister over London 2012 tickets
June 2011: Triple Olympic champion and London Mayor among 250,000 fans to miss out on 2012 tickets
May 2011: More than million people apply to watch Olympic 100 metres final
May 2011: Schools urged to claim London 2012 tickets by Coe and Johnson