Civic reception for Olympic heroes

HARTLEPOOL’S Olympic heroes will be treated to a civic reception on their return to town, it has been confirmed.

Exact details of what the reception will involve are yet to be finalised but civic chiefs say they want to honour the town’s sporting heroes.

Labour councillor, Stephen Akers-Belcher, is chairman of the council and he confirmed Hartlepool will get the chance to welcome them home in style.

Speaking at a meeting of the full council, he congratulated swimmer Jemma Lowe, 22, on finishing sixth in the 200m butterfly final on Wednesday night.

And he wished boxer Savannah Marshall luck when she starts her Olympic campaign on Monday afternoon.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “I would like to pay tribute to the fantastic efforts made by Jemma Lowe at the Olympics. As councillors for this town we should be very proud and I know from speaking to people in the town, that they are also very proud of her efforts.

“I would also like to wish Savannah Marshall well and I am sure the people of this town will continue to get behind her and show their support.”

Councillors responded with a loud chorus of “hear, hear”.

Labour councillor Marjorie James then asked if there would be any civic recognition once the Olympics is finished.

Coun Akers-Belcher told full council there would be a civic reception to recognise their efforts and achievements.

Speaking afterwards, he added: “It is a great achievement just to qualify for an Olympics and we are very proud of their efforts. We will be looking at welcoming them back to Hartlepool with a civic reception.”

Coun Akers-Belcher said the exact details are yet to be confirmed.

Jemma Lowe, who trains in Swansea, produced a positive swim and was in the bronze medal position for over half the race, only to miss out on the podium by 1.33 seconds.

Meanwhile, Savannah Marshall, 21, has earned a bye through to Monday’s last eight stage where she will meet the winner of Sunday’s match between Marina Volnova and Elizabeth Andiego.

The middleweight world boxing champion, from the Dyke House area of Hartlepool, enters the boxing ring for the first time at the London 2012 Olympics on Monday at 3.30pm.