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Olympians Lord Mayor reception 2012

Olympians Lord Mayor reception 2012

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Published : 13/07/2012 00:00

Leeds' London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic stars enjoy civic send-off

The Leeds athletes bidding for glory at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games were given a special send-off at Civic Hall today.

Athletes and coaches from Leeds and those based in the city who will be part of Team Great Britain were honoured at a ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Ann Castle as they get ready to compete in the world’s greatest sporting event in the capital.

The athletes attending included Leeds boxing star Nicola Adams, who is targeting an Olympic gold medal in the flyweight category to add to her victory in the European championships in Poland in 2011 and two world championship silver medals.

Also in attendance were the City of Leeds diving stars Alicia Blagg, Hannah Starling, Jack Laugher, Sarah Barrow and Rebecca Gallantree who make up five of the 12-strong Team GB diving team for London.

In 15-year-old Alicia Blagg from Woodlesford and 17-year-old Hannah Starling from Alwoodley, Leeds has its first-ever homegrown Olympic divers, and they will join another ‘young gun’ in 17-year-old Jack Laugher from Harrogate who will be looking to show the form which saw him break his own British record at the Olympic trials in Sheffield.

Their clubmate Sarah Barrow will be aiming to repeat the success which saw her and 10-metre synchronised platform partner Tonia Couch claim a historic first-ever bronze medal for Britain in the FINA World Cup event at the Olympic Park Aquatics Centre in February, while at the age of 27 Rebecca Gallantree is the most experienced of the Leeds quintet as she prepares for a second consecutive Olympic Games appearance.

Also attending the reception were City of Leeds senior diving coach Adrian Hinchliffe and diving age group coach Edwin Jongejans who will be part of the Team GB Olympic coaching team.

Leeds’ triathlon superstars Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee were unfortunately unable to attend as they are currently in a pre-Games training camp in Switzerland, but their coach Malcolm Brown who is also Team GB Triathlon Olympic Performance Manager was in attendance.

Looking ahead to the London 2012 Paralympic Games which take place from Wednesday 29 August to Sunday 9 September, Leeds-based David Stone MBE and Claire Cashmore were also being honoured for their selections to the Team GB squad.

David emerged as one of the stars of the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, winning two cycling gold medals and he will looking for more of the same in London, while swimmer Claire will be competing in her third successive Paralympic Games and aiming to add to her total of three bronze medals from Athens in 2004 and Beijing.

The names of all those other athletes and coaches representing Leeds and Great Britain at the Olympics and Paralympics who were unable to attend due to training commitments were also read out at the reception to mark their selections.

Leeds’ involvement in the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games has developed from having six athletes and support staff at the 2004 Games in Athens, to 10 in Beijing in 2008, and now a total of 30 heading for London.

Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Ann Castle said:

“It was a real honour to meet our Olympic and Paralympic athletes today and wish them all the best of luck on behalf of the city. They are sure to do us proud in London and we are really excited about seeing them perform at the best of their abilities at the greatest sporting event in the world and wish them every success.”

For more information on how Leeds is getting involved in the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, visit www.leedsgold.co.uk

Notes to editors:

The following athletes and coaches are from Leeds or are Leeds-based and will be representing Team GB in the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games:

Triathlon

Alistair Brownlee
24-year-old from Dewsbury, raised and based in Leeds. World champion in 2009 and 2011. Overcome recent achilles injury to go into Olympics as favourite and ranked number one in the world.
Event date: Tuesday 7 August

Jonathan Brownlee
22-year-old from Leeds. Under-23 world champion in 2010 and winner of two world triathlon events this season. Goes into Olympics world ranked number two behind older brother Alistair.
Event date: Tuesday 7 August

Malcolm Brown
Current Team GB Triathlon Olympic Performance Manager. Coach of Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee and former Director of Sport at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Jack Maitland
Team GB triathlon coach and current Carnegie director of triathlon at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Boxing

Nicola Adams
29-year-old from Leeds competing in the 51kg flyweight category. European champion 2011 and double world championship silver medallist.
Event date: 5-9 August

Diving

Alicia Blagg
15-year-old from Woodlesford in Leeds competing in women’s 3-metre synchronised event with City of Leeds clubmate Rebecca Gallantree. Member of City of Leeds Diving Club based at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport.
Event date: Sunday 29 July

Hannah Starling
17-year-old from Alwoodley in Leeds competing in women’s 3m springboard event. Member of City of Leeds Diving Club.
Event date: 3-5 August

Rebecca Gallantree 
27-year-old from Chelmsford who attended University of Leeds and is member of City of Leeds Diving Club. Competing in the 3m synchro with Alicia Blagg and 3m individual springboard event. Second successive Olympic Games appearance.
Event date: Sunday 29 July and 3-5 August

Sarah Barrow
23-year-old from Plymouth who attended Leeds Metropolitan University. Member of City of Leeds Diving Club who will be competing with Tonia Coach in 10m synchronised platform event. Won bronze medal at FINA World Cup event in London this year.
Event date: Tuesday 31 July

Jack Laugher
17-year-old from Harrogate competing in the men’s 3m springboard. Finalist in 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai. Joined City of Leeds Diving Club in 2010.
Event date: Tuesday 7 August

Adrian Hinchliffe
City of Leeds senior diving coach and member of Team GB coaching team. Preparing for third Olympic Games after being part of coaching set-up in Athens 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

Edwin Jongejans
Dutch former world champion now City of Leeds diving age group coach and part of Team GB coaching staff for first time at London 2012.

Football

Micah Richards
24-year-old defender from Leeds who helped Manchester City claim their first league title for 44 years in May. Selected by Team GB manager Stuart Pearce as one of three players allowed over the age of 23 for Olympics squad.
Event date: 25 July-11 August

Swimming

Claire Cashmore
24-year-old from Kidderminster who attended University of Leeds and is a member of City of Leeds Swimming Club based at the John Charles Centre for Sport. Won bronze medals in Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008.
Event date: Multiple events from 30 August-8 Sept

Cycling

David Stone MBE
31-year-old from Birmingham who now lives in Rawdon who won gold medals in Beijing Paralympics in 2008 in road race and individual time trial events.
Event date: 5-8 September

Lizzie Armitstead
23-year-old from Otley competing in women’s road race. Team pursuit world champion in 2011.
Event date: Sunday 29 July

Athletics

David Webb
29-year-old from Birmingham now a member of Leeds City Athletics Club selected to compete in men’s marathon.
Event date: Sunday 12 August

Johanna Jackson
27-year-old from Redcar competing in 20km women’s race walk. Won gold in Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010. Attended Leeds Metropolitan University and trains there at National Centre for Race Walking.
Event date: Saturday 11 August

Hannah Cockroft
20-year-old from Halifax competing in Paralympics wheelchair sprint events. Current world record holder over four distances. Trains at John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds.
Event date: 31 August, 4 & 6 Sept

Laura Weightman
21-year-old from Morpeth currently attending Leeds Metropolitan University. Competing in women’s 1500m. Coached by 1984 Olympic silver medallist Steve Cram who still holds three British records.
Event date: Friday 10 August

Andi Drake
Head coach of National Centre for Race Walking at Leeds Metropolitan University and coach to Johanna Jackson. He has led the development of a number of British race walkers who are now competing at the top international level.

Rowing

Debbie Flood
32-year-old from Guiseley competing in women’s quadruple sculls. Won silver medals in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
Event date: Wednesday 1 August

Water polo

Adam Scholefield
27-year-old from Leeds has proved himself one of Britain’s top centre forwards. Plays professionally for PVSK in Hungary.
Event date: 29 July-12 August

Ed Scott
24-year-old goalkeeper from Bolton currently attending University of Leeds. Helped Team GB achieve a best-ever fourth place result at the 2009 European B Nations trophy event.
Event date: 29 July-12 August

Weightlifting

Natasha Perdue
36-year-old from Swansea competing in women’s 69kg event, who worked until recently as a refuse collector for Leeds City Council. Emulating her late father Terry who competed in the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games.
Event date: Wednesday 1 August

Jack Oliver
21-year-old University of Leeds student from London competing in men’s 77kg event. Achieved a personal best at last year’s World Weightlifting Championships in Paris. Trains at GB High Performance centre at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Event date: Wednesday 1 August

Gareth Evans
26-year-old from Holyhead, North Wales, competing in men’s 69kg event. Began lifting aged 12 and is making Olympic debut after third-place finish in Commonwealth Championships in South Africa. Based at GB High Performance centre at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Event date: Tuesday 31 July

Ali Jawad
23-year-old Paralympic weightlifter originally from Lebanon competing in men’s 56kg event. Former world and European junior champion. Trains at GB High Performance centre at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Event date: Friday 31 August

Tamas Feher and Fiona Lothian
Team GB head coach and performance manager respectively, based at GB High Performance centre at Leeds Metropolitan University. Produced most lifters to compete for GB at an Olympic Games since Barcelona in 1992.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leeds City Council,
Senior communications officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk