Sheffield party planned for returning athletes

Good luck: Table tennis players Paul Drinkhall and Joanna Parker at the Sheffield Olympians send-off.
Good luck: Table tennis players Paul Drinkhall and Joanna Parker at the Sheffield Olympians send-off.
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SHEFFIELD based athletes could be given a heroes’ welcome once the Olympic Games have finished, council chiefs have said.

Details of the type of event being planned have not been revealed, but the Sheffield Council announcement follows an email sent to all 84 councillors by a sports fan calling for a celebration in support of the sports men and women based at training facilities such as Ponds Forge in Sheffield city centre and the English Institute of Sport in Attercliffe.

Robert Wilson, who sent the email, wrote: “I am writing to suggest you hold an event after the Olympics to welcome the athletes back, with their medals or without.

“I think, what would be more appropriate than a Town Hall balcony appearance, would be a small parade, like the torch relay.

“You could easily have floats and carnival dancers.”

Sheffield heptathlete Jessica Ennis is going for gold, while a number of other Sheffield-based Great Britain squads are hoping for medals.

A council spokeswoman said: “We are planning a celebration, naturally, should we get medals for the city, but what form this will take is still under discussion.”

Some 2,000 people attended a send-off event for Sheffield-born and based athletes in the Peace Gardens last week.

Athletes present included 2009 heptathlon world champion Ennis, diver Nick Robinson-Baker and table tennis players Paul Drinkhall and Joanna Parker.

People who had been Olympic torchbearers also attended the send-off which attracted crowds from around the region.

n What form should the celebration take? Have your say by emailing news@thestar.co.uk, visit www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar or Tweet @sheffieldstar