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Celebration of sporting history

PUBLISHED: 10:38 05 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:13 06 July 2010

THE stories of world-class athletes and aspiring youngsters are being used to create an online archive of Suffolk's Olympic and Paralympic successes.

Web designers and filmmakers from north Suffolk-based charity Suffolk Artlink have spent months interviewing athletes living in Suffolk who have competed in the Games in a bid to showcase the county's sporting heritage.

THE stories of world-class athletes and aspiring youngsters are being used to create an online archive of Suffolk's Olympic and Paralympic successes.

Web designers and filmmakers from north Suffolk-based charity Suffolk Artlink have spent months interviewing athletes living in Suffolk who have competed in the Games in a bid to showcase the county's sporting heritage.

The video interviews and audio podcasts have been used to create a website called Lap of Honour which tells the story of the county's sporting past, dating back to the 1948 summer Games in London. As well as creating the website, the project team have been training volunteers around Suffolk to make and edit films themselves and a number of local sportspeople have taken part, including swimmer Karen Pickering and sailor Kevin Curtis, who competed in the 1992 and 1996 Games.

Blue King, project development manager for Lap of Honour, said: “The idea is to celebrate the Olympics and Paralympics through the people who have played a real part in previous Games in the hope that it will inspire young people to come forward and take part in London 2012.”

She added: “We're trying to get to the really personal and emotional stories of how people have organised their lives and the lives of their families around their training and competing. It has been really exciting to hear the similarities in stories from people who competed 60 years ago and those hoping to compete in 2012; they have all overcome obstacles and have the same dedication.”

Artefacts and souvenirs collected by people who have visited or participated in the Games will also be used to create an exhibition which will tour the county, visiting Ipswich, Bury St Edmund's and Lowestoft, in autumn next year.

One of the items on display will be hand-stitched leather running shoes belonging to 800m runner Albert Webster, who came fifth in the 1952 Helsinki Games.

To watch the video interviews and find out more about the project, visit.www.suffolklapofhonour.org.uk.

Anyone who wants to share an Olympic story or volunteer to help with the project can contact Blue King on 01986 873955 or email enquiries@suffolkartlink.org.uk


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