Two local sporting stars have joined the growing number of athletic heroes to lend their support to the Sutton Coldfield Community Games.
Sutton Coldfield track and field legend Kevin Brown and Lichfield Paralympic hopeful Chelsey Dixon have stepped up to give their time to inspire and encourage others to try new sports at the two-day community event.
They join Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth champions David Moorcroft, Jonathan Broom-Edwards, Hamish Carter, Jane Sixsmith, Darren Harris and Laura Whittle in becoming ambassadors for the Sutton Games.
Royal Sutton Athletic Club athlete Kevin is a four-time World Discuss Champion and has represented Great Britain at no less than seven World Masters, three European Championships, two Commonwealth Games and at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Kevin is also renowned for his feats of strength and endurance and holds two world records for pulling a vehicle over 100m – one of which was an eight-tonne truck! At the Sutton Games, he will be demonstrating his skills by pulling a Land Rover along the 100 metre straight.
Paracanoe competitor Chelsey is a new recruit to Team GB having made her international debut for her country and sport last year. She is currently ranked number nine in the world in her category and has now taken two years out from university to focus on training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Chelsey had overcome a rare and very serious form of cancer prior to taking up her sport. A former West Bromwich Albion youth team player and county-level cross country runner, she underwent 18 months of major operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment to fight cancers in her thigh, brain and lungs after being diagnosed aged just 13. The treatment affected her mobility and she had to learn how to walk again but was determined to continue pursuing a career in sport.
She was introduced to paracanoeing at a weekend organised for people who’ve experienced life changing illness or injuries by the Climbing Out charity. Her talents were quickly recognised by British Canoeing as having podium potential and she was recruited to their squad.
Sutton Games founder Dennis Kennedy comments: “Both Kevin and Chelsey introduced themselves to me having experienced the Sutton Games and asked how they could help. That they willingly want to give their time to inspire others is, I think, testament to their character and I’m extremely grateful to have them in the team.
“I know from experience that people are genuinely inspired when they meet ‘real’ athletes, especially when they have a haul of accolades in the way Kevin has, or have overcome such a traumatic and life-changing illness in the way Chelsey has. Both will be attending the Sutton Games, joining in and encouraging others to try at least some of the 80-odd sports and activities on offer and I can’t wait to experience their positive impact first hand.”
Kevin comments: “I love the Sutton Games. I first attended last year and was blown away by the enthusiasm everyone involved has for the event. I try to promote physical activity and participation in sport in Sutton Coldfield as much as I can and am really proud to have become an official ambassador alongside legends like David Moorcroft and Jane Sixsmith as well as the new generation of Olympic hopefuls like Hamish Carter and of course Chelsey.”
Chelsey comments: “Sport has always been an important part of my life but since my illness it’s taken on a new meaning, giving me incredible opportunities and a renewed confidence. To think that I may be representing my country at the next Olympics is amazing. The Sutton Games is a special event and the opportunity to attend and share my story and passion with others, and help show them how sport can benefit their lives is really exciting. I’d encourage everyone, whatever their age or ability, to attend.”