The successes of the district’s sports stars were celebrated at a special civic reception at Tower House on Friday (8 February).
The event was the brainchild of the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Cllr Colin Spooner, who has a keen interest in sport and has visited many local clubs and organisations during his year in office.
In attendance were 14 sporting individuals, some of whom are already performing at a national level and others that are up and coming.
As well as being a chance to congratulate them on their achievements, the event also had a networking element. Council officers were there to advise on funding opportunities, and international level coaches offered help and support on a variety of subjects.
Cllr Spooner hosted the event, with the support of Active Life, and said it had been one of the highlights of his year so far.
He said: “It was terrific to meet so many inspiring and talented sportspeople and to hear about their hard work and dedication. Judging by the huge amount of chatting going on in the room, everyone had a great time and I hope it was of real benefit to all who attended.
“I’d particularly like to thank Active Life for all their help and world championship rower Dan Ritchie for the motivational talk he gave as a self-funded athlete.”
Dan, who won a gold medal at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, spoke about the importance of funding, he said: “The presence of such a diverse range of thriving athletes within the local region is truly inspiring. As a community, we need to support and invest in this talent so that they can achieve their full potential.”
Also in attendance was Italian 200-metre sprinter, Gloria Hooper, who spoke about her experiences at the London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic games, she said: “It’s quite exciting when you see so many young people following their dreams. They are the future.”
Among the guests were Paralympic skier Millie Knight, aquathlon athlete Yiannis Christodoulou, cyclist George Agate, hockey player James Oates and archer Ajay Scott.