Blues set to celebrate county’s Olympians

IPSWICH Town’s new season will kick off with an Olympic celebration as Suffolk’s torchbearers join some of the county’s top athletes for a lap of honour at Portman Road.

Fans will get the chance to see a selection of local Team GB members including tennis star and Ipswich’s own Elena Baltacha, and boxing medal contender Anthony Ogogo.

Suffolk’s Olympic torchbearers, who lit up the streets earlier this month, have also been invited to join the athletes for the first home league fixture of the season, against Blackburn Rovers, following a special civic reception at the county council’s Endeavour House headquarters.

Town chief executive Simon Clegg said: “I’ve been privileged to have managed members of Team GB at many Olympic Games and I know the level of commitment, sacrifice and dedication needed in all sports to reach that level.

“We wish the athletes who are representing Suffolk and Team GB over the next two weeks the best of fortune and hope to see them here at Portman Road on August 18.

“We also look forward to hosting, along with Suffolk County Council, the many torchbearers from the county.

“They have been rewarded for their personal dedication by being nominated and selected to carry the Olympic spirit and this will be an opportunity to salute their achievements.”

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The list of Olympians scheduled to appear will also feature hockey player Harry Martin, javelin thrower Goldie Sayers, handball’s Louise Jukes and swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn, along with reserve athletes triathlete Abbie Thorrington, hockey player George Pinner, archer Michael Peart and track cyclist Ross Edgar.

Torchbearers will be wearing their official uniforms for the lap of honour.

Colin Noble, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for sport and the Olympics, said: “I know that for many of our torchbearers and Olympians, the opportunity to carry the flame or represent their county is honour enough.

“But it’s important that we should mark their achievements and show our appreciation as a county.

“London 2012 is already having an impact on every part of the country. Suffolk is very much part of that and I hope this will be yet another opportunity to celebrate everything that is special about our home Games.”

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