The day began in my home town of Chelmsford with a short visit to the Helen Rollason Cancer Support Centre of which Seb is Patron. We then moved on to Braintree BMX Club where we were met by a sea of umbrellas and a group of young BMX enthusiasts, their coaches, and parents.
We were treated to a BMX demonstration by the riders, some as young as seven. The coaches put them through their paces, practising their starts and circuits. Seb met Team Essex Ambassadors – twins Daniel and Dominic King and also presented club officials with a Club Accreditation Certificate awarded recently by British Cycling. After some photo opportunities and interviews with local press, it was off to Comberton Village College in Cambridge.
At Comberton we were greeted by a large group of cheering students eager to catch a glimpse of the special guest who had come to share their end of term celebrations. Not a minute of Seb's time was wasted and we went directly to lunch, which was accompanied by a presentation about the wonderful work the college is doing. Comberton has established a special relationship with a school in Mozambique. The College also has an agreement with Mozambique’s National Olympic Committee to host a Pre-Games Training Camp for Fencing and Judo. A talk and demonstration followed about Kinetika and how this art form using puppets is used to support the national curriculum and the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The Kinetika puppets will be used to celebrate Open Weekend this weekend.
Following an inspirational speech and a question and answer session with a group of pupils who wanted to know, amongst other things, what he had to eat before a race, Seb presented the college’s many high achievers with well deserved awards. The final award went to former student Lucy Dowsett, a member of On Camp with Kelly, Dame Kelly Holmes mentoring initiative for promising young athletes. Lucy received a cheque for £1,000 from South Cambs District Council’s Elite Athlete Awards Scheme.
The final visit of the day was to Bury St. Edmunds where the local leisure centre was hosting several events. The first was in the pool where open water swimmers were training for the Great East Swim to be held in Suffolk in September. The swimmers varied in age and ability and included elite, disabled and novice swimmers. Seb was then whisked upstairs to the cooler surrounds of the fitness suite to meet members of the Fit4future project.
We were then entertained in the sports hall by 100 Suffolk children taking part in various activities organised by young leaders from King Edward VI Grammar School, a specialist sports college. Seb then presented Suffolk County Council scholarships to two aspiring elite athletes, swimmer Lewis Coleman and hockey player Harry Martin, before taking the opportunity to meet some of the participants and have a go at one or two activities before making his goodbyes.
I had a fantastic day on the road with London 2012. This weekend I am helping with the stadium tours that 300 lucky members of the public have been fortunate enough to win a place on as part of the Open Weekend celebrations. I am so lucky to be volunteering with London 2012!