A chance to meet Olympians and a Paralympian athlete
DEVONIANS have the chance to meet three of the county's Olympian and Paralympian athletes at a public celebration of the Olympic spirit tomorrow, Saturday, September 29.
Two members of Team GB's London 2012 squads – former World U23 champion rower Bill Lucas, of Kingswear, and Britain's top women's target pistol shooter Georgina 'Gorgs' Geikie, of Okehampton – will join multi-medal-winning veteran Paralympian Margaret Gibbs, of Newton Abbot, as guests of honour at the Lottery-funded free event in Exeter.
They will be welcomed by Cllr Rob Newby, Lord Mayor of Exeter, and Cllr Stuart Barker, Devon County Council lead for Adult Social Care, Families and Post 16.
David Fursdon – South West member of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) Nations and Regions Group and Chair of the South West Board for the 2012 Games – will be the keynote speaker.
The athletes will talk about what inspired them to take up their sports, what they have achieved despite the difficulties, what the Olympics/Paralympics mean to them, and what their hopes and dreams are.
Gorgs, once described as "a real-life sharpshooting Lara Croft", and Bill, will go on to give short demonstrations of their sporting skills.
But just as much the occasion will be about people discovering sports for themselves at a range of taster sessions, from archery, golf and curling to rowing, cycling and dinghy/sailboarding.
Also on the programme are demonstrations of wheelchair basketball and badminton, fencing and gymnastics, as well as eastern dancing and zumba dancing, choral singing and a big ceilidh, organised by Wren Music of Okehampton.
The Big Lottery will include the event in a future report as a prime example of the way in which its funding can be used to foster the legacy of the London 2012 Games.
The day is being hosted by Devon Senior Voice (DSV), the voluntary forum for the over-50s, and Devon Youth Service as an intergenerational event to inspire young and old alike.
Ann Crawford, DSV intergenerational lead and event co-chair, said: "It has been a fantastic and inspiring summer of sport, which has brought the whole country together. We want many people to join us at Matford to help us celebrate that spirit in Devon, and to encourage its growth."
The event will be held at the Matford Centre, Matford Park Road, Marsh Barton, Exeter EX2 8FD from 9am to 5pm, with the opening ceremony at 10am.
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