Lord Mayor leads celebrations for local Rio Paralympians
Coventry’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Lindsley Harvard, held a celebratory event to celebrate the achievements of Coventry Paralympians.
Charlotte Moore, Kare Adengan and Ben Rowlings were invited to celebrate their achievements at a Civic Reception, hosted by the Lord Mayor which was also attended by family, friends, sponsors and representatives from the local sporting community.
Speaking at the event, Cllr Harvard, Lord Mayor of Coventry, said:
We know a sporting city is a healthy city and your success in Rio will have helped many people get off the sofa and into a love of sport that will hopefully last a lifetime. Thank you for that.
You have not only inspired us, you have also been wonderful ambassadors for the city of Coventry.
You should all be very proud. You have shown others what is possible and that they too can achieve their dreams.
Paralympics GB returned from Rio 2016 with 64 Gold medals, the most gold medals of all countries and won 12% of all gold medals awarded at the Games. The Team secured 147 medals over the games, with 64 Gold, 39 Silver and 44 Bronze medals.
Ben Rowlings, a member of the Godiva Wheelchair Academy, has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, becoming a 3 time medallist at the IPC Athletics European Championships in Italy this year and a regular fixture on GB teams for the past couple of years.
Ben Rowlings, said:
Every moment of the Paralympics was amazing. My first race at Rio 2016 was the highlight for me, even though it didn’t go as well as I would have liked, it was the moment I became a real Paralympic athlete.
Kare Adenegan is also part of the Godiva Wheelchair Academy and is currently in Year 11 at Bablake School, preparing for her GCSEs. She won double bronze at last year’s IPC Athletics World Championships at the age of 14, and won Silver and two Bronze medals at Rio 2016.
Kare Adenegan, said:
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of Coventry, including my parents, my coach, Job King, Coventry City Council, Study Inn, Friargate, The Midland Sports Centre for the Disabled Trust, the Coventry Rotary Club, the Coventry Godiva Harriers, Renewal CC, Coventry University, Coventry University College, and all those who have all encouraged me along the way”
It was especially amazing to go back to my old school, Bablake, where my old school friends and other pupils were screaming my name and waving flags. It’s all been incredible to have everyone’s support.
Charlotte Moore, part of the Coventry Wheelchair Basketball Academy, has amassed a wealth of experience and many successes. She made her debut for Great Britain at the European Championships and has represented Great Britain plenty of times since.
Charlotte Moore, said:
For me, the most amazing moment was beating China in quarter final at Rio because it made us the most successful women’s wheelchair basketball team ever. For us, that was the defining moment. It proved that we could do it.
The Paralympians were all presented with a framed picture memento of the event from the Lord Mayor and personally invited to be part of the city’s Christmas Lights switch-on event on 23 November.
Speaking after the event, Cllr Harvard, said:
I think they should all be incredibly proud. They’re very much part of Coventry’s history now. They’ve achieved incredible feats, not just for themselves, but for Coventry and for Great Britain. Coventry, as a city is proud of them, and they should be proud of themselves too.
Increasing participation in sport and physical activity is a priority for the Council as Cllr George Duggins, Leader of the Council, said:
It was great to celebrate our athletes’ achievements and as a city we want to ensure many more local talented people can be supported in their aims to become Olympians and Paralympians of the future, the city’s sports strategy is about creating more active lives and inspiring talented athletes to achieve.