HOMECOMING HEROES JOIN I AM TEAM GB
Two Olympic legends – and a host of other sports stars – will be at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday – to help celebrate the most successful Team GB Olympics since 1908.
Sprint Canoeist Liam Heath, who bagged gold and silver in Rio, will be joined by team mate Jon Schofield, as well as fellow Team GB kayaker, Rachel Cawthorn as double Olympic Gold Medalist Dame Kelly Holmes, who performed the official opening of the Ricoh Arena a decade ago.
The National Lottery and ITV have collaborated on I Am Team GB, the UK’s biggest ever sports day where thousands of venues up and down the country will open their doors for free, encouraging the nation to get out and get active and with the chance to meet some of their Olympic heroes.
Heath (32) won gold in the individual 200m kayak sprint event and the silver in the men's double with Schofield.
That double haul made him most successful British canoeist at the Olympics ever, with an additional a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics in the K-2 200 with Schofield.
Kelly Holmes set British records in numerous events and still holds the records over the 600m, 800m and 1000m, and won double gold at the Athens 2004 Olympics and a bronze in the 800m in Beijing in 2008.
England and Wasps rugby hero James Haskell will also be on hand to share his wealth of international and domestic rugby experience. Tamsin Greenway, Mel Mansfield, Fran Williams, Josie Huckle, Sophie Candappa and George Fisher of Wasps Netball and aspiring Olympic Canoeist Nia Tomos will also be giving insight into what it takes to be a top athlete.
The event runs from 9.30am until 3pm and is free to attend There will be a range of 17 different sports on hand for people to try including football, gymnastics, cricket, climbing wall tennis and wheels-for-all cycling.
To celebrate the support the nation gives them by playing The National Lottery, Team GB's returning Olympians will join famous faces from ITV at events across the UK. ITV will be switching off their transmission to all of their seven channels for an hour at 9.30am. Over £80 million has been raised each year by National Lottery players to help fund elite athletes during the four-year build-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Andy Gibb, Managing Director of the Ricoh Arena, said: “To have Dame Kelly and Liam at the Ricoh will be fantastic. They have a host of medals between them and Liam was one of the standout performers in what was a truly memorable Olympic Games.
“Dame Kelly has incredible Olympic history – and a great track record at the Ricoh Arena after performing our official opening.
“There will be a host of other stars here for what should be a great day and we would urge people to come on down and try their hand at the huge variety of sports.”
Cllr Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport at Coventry City Council, said: “I Am Team GB promises to be a really great event and we are delighted that Coventry and the Ricoh Arena have been selected – especially bearing in mind we were a 2012 host venue.
“It would be great to see local people trying out new sports and activities and then taking them up for the longer term.”
To become part of this amazing day out on the bank holiday weekend, the public can visit the I Am Team GB website www.iamteamgb where they can sign up to find out all about the exciting free sporting events and activities in their area. From hockey to handball and rowing to running, hundreds of different sporting activities will be available.
The event is taking place in conjunction with the British Olympic Association (BOA), UK Sport and is supported by Join In and Coventry Sports Network.
For more information about your nearest event and to sign up for the UK’s biggest ever sports day visit www.iamteamgb.com
This Saturday (27 August), to celebrate Team GB’s success and the support the public gives them by playing The National Lottery, Lotto will create an extra 67 life changing prizes – one for each Olympic medal won in Rio. On top of the usual Lotto draw, there will be an extra 27 prizes of £1 million to match the number of Gold medals, 23 extra prizes of £100,000 to equal the Silver and 17 extra prizes of £50,000 to match the Bronze.