Hertfordshire Olympic and Paralympic champions receive a heroes welcome

Hertfordshire County Council Celebrates Olympic and Paralympic Local Sporting Heroes.

Hertfordshire County Council Celebrates Olympic and Paralympic Local Sporting Heroes. - Credit: Supplied

Local Football Hall of Fame legend, Dave Clarke, attended a special reception at County Hall to mark the achievements of the Hertfordshire's sporting heroes at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer.

Dave, an ex-President of the St Albans Chamber of Commerce, is the ex-captain of Britain’s Blind Football 5-a-side team. 

He competed in the Paralympics in Atlanta (1996), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

He achieved 144 caps in Football throughout his international career and scored 128 goals.

In his capacity as a British Paralympic Association Board Member, Dave, together with Hertfordshire’s Lord-Lieutenant and High Sheriff and Chairman of the County Council, welcomed six Hertfordshire Paralympian and Olympian heroes to Hertford to the event, which was put on by Hertfordshire County Council on Monday, September 27.

The athletes included Paralympic GB’s wheelchair rugby captain Chris Ryan from Welwyn and teammate Jonathan Coggan from Letty Green who took gold in Tokyo, beating the USA 54-49 in a thrilling final.

Welwyn Garden City swimmer, Louise Fiddes brought her impressive Paralympic silver and bronze 100m breast stroke and 200m individually medley swimming medals to share with the guests.

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Other local sporting heroes were Olympic rower Rowen McKellar, who started her rowing career at Broxbourne Rowing Club and whose father, Quintin, is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire. 

Rowan only just missed out on a medal in the women’s coxless four as they were tantalisingly pipped by Ireland for a silver medal.

Also in attendance were Paralympian Grace Harvey from Ware who won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and Jess Stretton, from Hemel Hempstead, who achieved fourth place in the Paralympic archery women’s individual competition having already won a gold medal at the Rio Games at only 16 years of age.

To acknowledge all their achievements and contribution to Hertfordshire’s sporting legacy, Lord Lieutenant for Hertfordshire, Robert Voss, presented the world-class athletes with ‘Hero of Hertfordshire’ certificates. 

As part of the event the athletes were interviewed by previous Olympian and ex-BBC commentator, Stuart Storey.