The Mayor of Wigan has paid tribute to Wigan’s sporting heroes at a special ceremony at Wigan town hall.
Cllr Joy Birch, who leaves office as Mayor this week, welcomed former competitors and those who will be involved in London 2012 to thank them for their contribution to the sporting life of our borough.
“I am proud to see so many of you here today,” the Mayor told them, “You are all proof of the strong culture of sport this borough possesses.”
Sydney’s 2000 games were represented by Helen Don Duncan, who now teaches at Worsley Mesnes Community Primary School. Helen said: “It’s great to meet up with past Olympians – and to meet people like Roy Wood and Maria Dunn who will be there this summer.”
Wresting legend Roy Wood has been training Guam’s Maria Dunn, who will be carrying the flag for her Pacific island state at the opening ceremony. They were joined by June Croft from Ashton, who competed in three Olympic Games, winning Silver in Moscow and Bronze in Los Angeles, plus breaking a Commonwealth record, and also David Grindley – now a pilot, but in 1992, a 400m finalist at Barcelona.
The athletes formed a panel in the council chamber and took questions from school pupils about their memories of past games and what it was like to represent their country. The common theme was the support of local people as the Wigan-born sportsmen and women completed overseas.
Also with the Mayor and her guests were Olympic Flame Torchbearers, including Cameron Foster from Hindley. Cameron will be carrying the Flame on 31 May through his home town passing the Veterans, saluting the Flame from Hindley town hall and the party arranged on Hindley’s Market Street.
Cllr Chris Ready, cabinet champion for leisure, said: “We’re looking forward now to a great day as the Torch comes on May 31. It’s going to be busy around town but let’s enjoy ourselves as the borough has its moment in the spotlight.”
Guests also received a tour of the town hall and took part in a special photographic session to help promote the Torch Relay.