Sunderland’s Olympic Stars Leave Behind A Legacy
OLYMPIAN Jill Scott and Paralympic legend Hazel Robson helped celebrate the success of the ‘Sunderland in 2012’ programme of sporting and cultural opportunities at a glittering event on Thursday 4 October.
They joined more than 250 guests at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre at
a closing celebration event, which included displays from a selection of Sunderland’s top sports clubs and representatives from some of the many community groups involved in the nine month programme.
Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said: “Sunderland in 2012 was a tremendous success thanks to our partnership with volunteers, community groups and sports clubs and the fantastic support of the people of Sunderland.
“More than 140,000 people took part in events and activities held across the city, and this ‘summer of sport’ has given everyone the chance to get involved. We’re thrilled at the numbers, they are even better than we hoped and planned for.
“But we don’t want it to end here. Sunderland City Council wants the positive legacy of the programme to be even more people enjoying sport and physical activity, more regularly. We have seen this year the unique role sport plays in bringing people together and making them feel good about themselves and the city, and it’s that effect we want to take forward.”
Everyone at the closing celebratory event was encouraged to make a pledge to use the programme as an inspiration to help deliver this positive legacy.
Pledges made included:
Hazel Robson, 4 x Paralympian and Gold, Silver and Bronze medallist –
“I am going to help coach the young ones with my coach.”
Jill Scott Team GB Ladies Football –
“Be a good role model and encourage more young people into sport.”
Shanice Davidson Age 12, Gymnastic Tumbler –
“To continue to be part of the GB squad and represent my country and qualify for the Tumbling World Championships to be held in Denmark next year and get in the medals.”
The evening also saw the launch of the Sunderland Sports Personality Hall of Fame, to celebrate the contribution made by local athletes to national and international sport.
The initial inductees include:
Jill Scott – Football;
Stephanie Houghton – Football;
Kat Driscoll – Trampoline
Hazel Robson – Athletics;
Dan English – Football;
John Robertson – Sailing
Launching the Sporting Hall of Fame, Cabinet Secretary Councillor Mel Speding explained: “Sunderland is committed to enabling residents of all abilities to take part in sport and physical activity.
“In recent times our city has developed and transformed its sporting and leisure amenities.
“Sunderland provides people with a number of top-class, accessible facilities including the region’s only 50m pool, two 25m community pools along with Wellness Centres across the city, which provide excellent equipment and advice.”
Cllr Speding added: “Now is the time to celebrate the people who are putting Sunderland on the sporting map and it gives me great pleasure to stand here this evening with two of the first to be inducted into this city’s Hall of Fame.”
More additions to the Sunderland Hall of Fame are expected over the next few months.
OLYMPIC LEGACY: (left to right) Olympian Jill Scott, Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Robert Heron, Paralympian Hazel Robson, Cabinet Secretary, Cllr Mel Speding and Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Cllr John Kelly