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Herefordshire getting set for the Paralympics
11:00am Thursday 16th August 2012 in Local
TONY Larkin will be putting his best foot forward as Paralympic fever sweeps Herefordshire.
Spain’s wheelchair basketball team are playing three matches against their Great Britain rivals in Hereford this weekend.
And up to 1,500 people can join in Herefordshire’s Paralympic Flame Celebration at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) on Saturday, August 25.
“The excitement caused by the Olympics has been incredible,” said Steve Ashton, Herefordshire co-ordinator for the Games. “We didn’t have any athletes at the Olympics but Herefordshire has got some realistic medal hopes for Great Britain at the London Paralympics,” he said.
“Sascha Kindred won two golds in Beijing and Nyree took a silver.
“James Bevis and Josie Pearson are at the top of their sport and we have high hopes for the GB Blind Football Team.”
Larkin, a Royal National College director and GB Blind Football team manager, is heading for their Games headquarters at Bath with his team on Saturday.
He is running a leg on the 24-hour London 2012 Paralympic Games Torch Relay.
And 16-year-old Cameron Wood, from Whitecross, will be collecting the county’s Paralympic Lantern from London.
There will be two parts to Herefordshire’s Flame Celebration. People can try out Paralympic sports from 2pm to 4pm at thePoint4.
And a free-of-charge afternoon and evening of celebration will then take place at the college from 4pm.
Ashton said: “We’ve got Dave Moorcroft coming along and we’ve printed up to 1,500 tickets for the evening’s outdoor celebrations. It should be a great evening.”
Spain’s Blind Football Team have been using the RNC’s facilities for training ahead of the Paralympic Games, which open in London on August 29.
And Spain’s Wheelchair Basketball team, who are staying at the college, are playing against Great Britain at Hereford Academy on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Lugwardine ’s Nick Frith is among Herefordshire sports fans still glowing from the success of the Olympics.
The 21-year-old sports science student worked at the Jamaican pre-Games training camp in Birmingham and was thrilled to meet Olympic sprint legend Usain Bolt.
“Amusingly when Usain arrived at the camp he was more worried about getting his Playstation set up than sorting out his training,” said student Nick, whose dad Chris worked as an Olympic Stadium doctor.
Dorstone’s Sue Goring and daughter Emily were also among the volunteers at the Olympics.
Sue was part of a team which welcomed spectators off the transport hub at the North Greenwich Arena.
And Hereford Sixth Form College student band Busker Street played behind the scenes at Sunday’s Olympic Games’ closing ceremony. Hereford Badminton Academy are staging a have-a-go session at Hereford Leisure Centre on Sunday from 10am to noon.
Hereford Couriers are organising the Harewood Hurtle run at Harewood End Estate on Sunday at 11am.
l Tickets for the Flame Celebration’s party are free and available from RNC’s thePoint4 and Sainsbury’s Hereford.
For details, call 01432 376376.