Official Olympic Games sponsor and Proud Sponsor of Mums, Procter & Gamble (P&G) have announced its support of three of Australia's leading athletes as part of its campaign for the London 2012 Olympic Games. P&G is the company behind some of Australia's favourite brands including Gillette, Pantene, Oral-B, Metamucil, Vicks, Head & Shoulders, Ambi Pur and Fairy.
Posing with their mums in a photo shoot for their sponsor were swimmers Eamon Sullivan (for Gillette), Emily Seebohm (for Pantene) and Sophie Edington (for Oral-B).
P&G is a Partner to the entire Australian Olympic Team and these ambassadors are Olympic hopefuls whose dream is to secure a place in the Australian Olympic Team to take the hopes of the nation to London. This is the start of a long-standing commitment to improve lives through sport for P&G.
"At a first glance, P&G and its brands have little to do with the Olympic Games, except this. Every Olympic athlete has a mum and mums are with their children every step of the way, nurturing and encouraging them, and helping them realise their dreams. And while we are not in the business of sports, P&G is in the business of helping mums. We help her care for her family every step of the way," said Maile Carnegie, Managing Director of Procter & Gamble Australia and New Zealand.
To recognise the lengths mums go to in raising Olympic hopefuls, P&G surveyed the mums of its sponsored athletes and found that collectively the mums have on average so far:
Had 5,000 early morning starts
Washed 150,000 dishes
Travelled 250,000 kilometres or 6.5 times around the world
Done 11,000 extra loads of washing
Completed 10,000 supermarket trips
To celebrate this extraordinary effort, P&G invited each athlete's mum to share in the sponsorship announcement by being photographed with their offspring by photographer James Morgan.
"P&G, the name behind some of Australia's most well-known brands, helps mums and families in small but meaningful ways every day with products that make everyday tasks a little easier and more enjoyable. Mum is the unsung hero of the Olympic Games and of life itself, so let's simply take the time to thank her," added Maile.
In 2010 P&G and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced their global partnership for the next five Olympic Games from London 2012 Olympic Games through the 2020 Olympic Games. P&G will sponsor the next five Olympic Games, including London 2012 Olympic Games, Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Rio 2016 Olympic Games as well as the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and 2020 Olympic Games. The agreement gives P&G global sponsorship rights, enabling the company to take the Olympic Games to the four billion consumers worldwide served by P&G brands today.
"The Olympic Games are all about improving life through sport, and P&G's purpose is to touch and improve lives. We are delighted to have P&G as a partner - making a difference for athletes, mums and families," said Craig Phillips, AOC Secretary General.
P&G has been proudly supporting mums and families in Australia for over 25 years, improving lives of consumers with brands and products that make life a little better every day, making the job of washing dishes, shaving, brushing teeth or caring for the family's hair a little easier and more enjoyable.
Question: How are you feeling leading into the Olympics?
Karen Seebohm: I always get very nervous leading into major events, I don't know why, Em's swimming is pretty much out of my control, but maybe it's just how Mums feel. I'm also quite excited about travelling to London as we are taking Em's three brothers along for the amazing experience of The Olympics. Two of her brothers were able to come to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics and we all had a great time, so we are all looking forward to all that London has to offer!
Question: Can you talk about the experience of raising your daughter, Emily Seebohm, who is an Olympian?
Karen Seebohm: Em is the only girl with three brothers, but she has always been quite a tomboy. Growing up she was very competitive and had to be to be able to keep up with her brothers! Throughout her childhood she was exposed to many different types of sport, and never really focused on her swimming til she was in her teens. Emily always had plenty of energy, always on the go; she is a very fun, happy girl and great to be around.
Question: What did it take for Emily Seebohm to get to where she is today?
Karen Seebohm: It takes a lot of dedication and commitment to be where she is today. She has had to make many sacrifices along the way, but she is very focused on her swimming and has her dreams which she is trying to achieve. The commitments for elite sportspeople can be extremely challenging but she is working very hard to make sure she can do everything possible to race the best she can do in London.
Question: How did you go about supporting Emily Seebohm through her training?
Karen Seebohm: With Emily still living at home I am able to support her in many ways. She spends many hours in the day training etc., so I help in doing her washing and cooking healthy meals. I get up very early every training morning to have a chat and toast with her before she leaves for training, and when she was younger would drive her to and from training. I'm able to look after her when she is sick, and just be a caring mother when she needs some emotional support. I love having her at home, and feel that if I can help her in any way to reach her goals then I will do all that I can for her.
Question: Do you believe there is a lot more work involved in being the mother of an athlete?
Karen Seebohm: I'm not sure whether there is more work involved as a mother of an athlete, as we have a large family and there always plenty of work involved, but with swimming there are always the extra towels to wash, travelling to and from the pool twice a day, healthy meals to prepare and cook. I don't really see it as more work, I enjoy my role as a mum to Emily and the level of commitment and dedication that she has for her sport makes my job so much easier. She is very appreciative of all that I do for her, and we have a very close relationship, I just feel lucky that I get to watch my daughter achieve all that she has done at such a very young age.
Question: How has P&G supported you and your family throughout this journey?
Karen Seebohm: P&G is an official sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games this year and I'm very proud of Emily and her sponsorship from Pantene, and of the fact that P&G selected me to be one of their Mumbassadors for their Proud Sponsors of Mums Campaign. I feel very proud to be involved and their support of both Emily and myself has been wonderful.