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Club News


1 February 2013

Athletes become CSF Ambassadors

NORWICH City Community Sports Foundation is delighted to announce that three of the stars of the London 2012 games have joined its team of ambassadors.

Jessica-Jane Applegate MBE, Mel Clarke and Anna Bentley agreed to join Norwich City FC’s official charity partner, after attending the Canaries home fixture with Arsenal in October.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games captured the imagination of the entire country, as the most successful British teams ever, provided a summer of incredible sporting memories.

The lasting message from the Games, was the legacy left by London 2012 that would ‘inspire a generation’ to take part in sport. Now, the new ambassadors are to play their part in maintaining that legacy, by helping CSF to use sport as the tool to help people achieve their goals.

Applegate, 16, won an incredible swimming gold medal at the Paralympics, when a packed aquatic centre roared her home to victory in the S14, 200 metre freestyle event.

After finishing in the top three for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award, the Gorleston girl was handed an MBE in the New Year’s honours list for her achievements at London 2012.

Applegate said: “I am joining CSF because I hope to promote sport and inclusion for all. I really struggled and still do at times, with having so much energy and sport is such a great release. I hope I can also help to raise money for the Sporting Light Appeal and we have already talked about some exciting ideas.”

Two-time medallist Mel Clarke added wheelchair archery silver in London to the bronze she picked up in Beijing in 2008 at the Paralympics.

Clarke contested the gold medal match with compatriot Danielle Brown and narrowly missed out on victory in a clash that came down to the final arrow.

Clarke said: “I'm really proud to have been asked to be a CSF ambassador and to be associated with a great club and charity that does so much for the local community is great. Sport is so important for people's general well-being and projects like this help open up opportunities for so many people to become involved in a variety of ways.”

Finally, fencer Anna Bentley was part of the Foil team that reached the quarter-finals at London 2012.


A loss to the formidable Italian side was the final outing for the 31 year old who announced her retirement following the games.

Bentley said: “I am honoured to have been asked to become a CSF ambassador and I look forward to working with the charity in the local community to support people to become active and achieve their goals through sport.”

CSF Director Ian Thornton added: “Our ambassadors are all strong role models and through excellence in their respective fields, they inspire people in Norfolk to achieve their goals with the Community Sports Foundation. Jessica, Mel and Anna really appreciate the impact that we make and I am delighted to welcome them on board with us. The Olympic and Paralympic games were incredible to watch and we are thrilled to have these three fantastic athletes join our team.”

Applegate was presented to the Canary fans at half time, during the home fixture with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, January 30 and welcomed by Norwich City chief Executive and CSF Trustee, David McNally.

The London 2012 athletes join a strong team of ambassadors that includes TV Chef and NCFC Majority Shareholder Delia Smith, former players Iwan Roberts, Craig Fleming, Darren Eadie, Paul McVeigh and Dean Ashton, TV presenters Jake Humphrey and Simon Thomas, Paralympian Danny Nobbs and Football Correspondent for the Daily Express, Mick Dennis.

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