Olympics fever hits Rotherham as games draw to a close

By Sam Cooper | 11/08/2017

Olympics fever hits Rotherham as games draw to a close
Ellis Wilson representing Scotland West riding Tom during the first days events at the Parklands Equestrian Centre at Aston. 171381-8

OLYMPIC fever certainly hit the borough this week as hopeful athletes from across the country set their sights on gold.

Dozens of horse riders battled it out in front of large crowds at Aston’s Parklands Equestrian Centre as part of the tenth Special Olympics GB National Summer Games.

The event saw athletes split into regions and battle it out at venues across the town, including golf at Rother Valley Country Park and football at Sheffield Hallam University’s Sports Park, on Bawtry Road.

Other sports were held in Sheffield, with athletes competing over three days.

Among those in the stand at the equestrian dressage in Aston was mum-of-three Louise Lane, of Throapham.

She said: “I’ve been riding here for two years and it’s nice to have something like this happening in our area.

“It’s great to be able to show the kids a dressage competition because they’ve just started riding. I think it’s great.”

Competitors will compete at Parklands for the final day today before a medal ceremony this evening.

The Worksop Road venue was transformed with two dressage arenas and extra stables.

Some of those taking part used Parklands’ horses which they had only had an hour’s training on.

Sarah Johnson, of Ecclesfield, was another of the spectators.

She said: “I have got horses myself so when I was that the Special Olympics were here I wanted to support it.

“It’s an amazing event and it’s amazing that some of these people are getting on a horse that they’ve only known for an hour and doing two 20-minute rides and then doing the dressage — it’s very impressive.”

Richard Sampson, who runs Parklands with his dad Robert, said the family were very “proud” to be part of the event.

“It means an awful lot to us,” Richard said.

“It’s great to see how much it means to everybody taking part. All their families are here and there’s a really good atmosphere.

“We just want to put on a show and we want to do our best to allow the competitors to do their best.”

The Special Olympics finish today. For more information and a full schedule of events visit www.sheffield2017.org.uk.

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