HEREFORDSHIRE’S Paralympic medal winners Sascha Kindred and Nyree Lewis will be the special guests at a ceremony in the county next week.

The Credenhill couple are being toasted for their swimming triumphs in Beijing at Leominster Leisure Centre.

Pupils from the Minster School will be greeting the couple on their arrival to the Coningsby Road leisure centre next Friday.

Kindred and Lewis arrived back in the country last Thursday after playing their part in helping Great Britain to second place in the Paralympic medal table.

The duo have since received a host of cards, e-mails and messages from well-wishers.

The pair, who have been together for 12 years, were even treated to a free meal by a Herefordshire pub.

Kindred, 30, explained: “We had a meal at the Bell Inn at Tillington the other day and they told us it was on the house. We were overwhelmed by their kindness.”

Kindred had an outstanding Games, winning golds in the 100-metre breaststroke and the 200-metre individual medley.

He also took bronze in the men’s 50-metre butterfly.

Welsh-born Lewis, who was 28 last Sunday, won a silver medal in the women’s 100-metre backstroke.

Since arriving home, there has been little respite for the Leominster Kingfishers pair who are now taking a welcome break from their training after an intensive year.

They haven’t had time to sit down with their full-time coach, Emma Patrick, who also lives in Credenhill.

Kindred and Lewis were in Cardiff Bay on Monday for Welsh Paralympians’ homecoming.

Lewis was led to the front steps of the Senedd by a traditional Chinese dragon and received a reception from hundreds of people.

“It’s our aim to promote the Paralympics and try to encourage other people to get into sport,” said Lewis.

“We also hope to show that being disabled does not necessarily need to hold you back.”

Kindred and Lewis, who both have cerebral palsy, have been leading lights in British swimming for a number of years.

Kindred has completed a remarkable hat-trick of gold medals in the 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley at three successive Paralympic Games.

Kindred said: “I am calling my success a triple double - and that’s what I set out to achieve in Beijing. I could definitely see myself at London 2012, but we will have to see what happens.”

Lewis was naturally upset to lose the 100-metre backstroke title which she had won at Athens four years ago.

But she said: “I am less disappointed now than when I was out in Beijing. I am proud to win a silver because it’s still a very good honour. Everyone works hard in Paralympic year and to go to the Paralympics is the highest achievement in our sport. That was my third Paralympics and it was by far the best. The standard of competition in the pool was awesome and the Chinese put on an amazing show.”

The couple made Herefordshire their home in January 2006 and both paid tribute to their coach and Halo Leisure for giving them valuable pool time.

Kindred added: “We like it in Herefordshire - we like the rural life and the fabulous countryside. The people are very friendly too and have a lot of time for us.”

l Watch a video interview with Sascha Kindred and Nyree Lewis at: