Get involved in Mansfield’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic homecoming

Ollie and Sam Hynd, celebrating silver and bronze at Paralympics
Ollie and Sam Hynd, celebrating silver and bronze at Paralympics

PREPARATIONS are continuing as Mansfield gets ready to welcome home the town’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes on Tuesday (11th September).

Residents are being urged to celebrate the achievements of swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who won two Olympic bronze medals at London 2012, Ravenshead’s Team GB badminton player Chris Adcock as well as Charlotte Henshaw, Sam Hynd and Ollie Hynd who are currently competing in the Paralympics.

Swimmers Sam and Ollie have already tasted medal success in the Aquatics Centre and will go head-to-head in the pool again tomorrow (Wednesday).

Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton said: “All of the Paralympians are truly inspirational. Both Ollie and Charlotte train with the Mansfield Nova Squad and although Sam is away at university his swimming roots are also here in Mansfield.

“Sam and Ollie have already helped to top up Mansfield’s Olympic and Paralympic medal table and along with Charlotte they have our full support ahead of their main races.”

Ollie secured a silver medal on Friday after being beaten to the gold by less than one second in the S8 400m freestyle final, with brother Sam taking the bronze.

On Wednesday the brothers will race against each other in the same heat of the 200m Individual Medley SM8.

Following them in the pool will be Charlotte, who has high hopes in her main event the 100m breaststroke SB6.

The homecoming celebration will get underway in Market Place from around 6pm, when the athletes will take to the stage while a giant screen shows each of them competing in London.

People can get involved in this part of the celebration by posting messages to the athletes on Mansfield District Council’s Facebook page or on Twitter, with a selection of the messages then being displayed on the screens.

There will be Olympic-themed activities, facepainters and stiltwalkers to keep the crowd entertained in and around the Market Place from around 4pm and 2,000 flags will be given out.

Entertainment will move onto the stage from 6pm, but a council spokesman could not confirm the details as Chad went to press yesterday.

Sports teams and clubs including North Notts Hockey Club, Mansfield Maulers Wheelchair Basketball Club, Mansfield Giants Basketball Club, Mansfield Harriers, Sherwood Swimming Club, Mansfield Swimming Club and Mansfield Lawn Tennis Club will be represented at a sports village on West Gate, where people who have been motivated to get into sport can find out how they can get involved.

Mr Egginton added: “We hope people from the district and surrounding areas will turn out in their thousands to show our pride and appreciation for our local Olympic and Paralympic athletes and the hard work and time they dedicate to their sport.

“The sports village provides the ideal opportunity for people who have been inspired by the Games to find out how they can get involved in a range of sports – maybe stars of the future will be discovered.”

Wheelchair users wanting to attend are being asked to contact Mansfield District Council to reserve their space on a raised platform viewing area in the Market Place.

Places must be booked in advance and are available on a first come first served basis on Mansfield 463 376.