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Mayor welcomes New Zealand Paralympian to Mansfield

Mansfield's Executive Mayor is very pleased and proud to welcome New Zealand's most successful Paralympian to the district for three months.

Para swimmer Sophie Pascoe arrived in Mansfield this week to train with para swimming champion Ollie Hynd and his coach Glenn Smith, Mansfield District Council's Swim Coach and Development Officer, at the Water Meadows Swimming and Fitness Complex. Sophie has joined the Nova Centurion Swim Squad in Mansfield as a temporary member for the three-month period.

Mayor Kate Allsop is looking forward to officially welcoming Sophie to the district when she visits the Civic Centre next week.

Sophie has represented New Zealand at three Paralympic Games since 2008, winning a total of nine gold medals and six silver medals, making her New Zealand's most successful Paralympian. Most recently Sophie was New Zealand's flagbearer at the opening of the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast where she went on to win two gold medals.

Sophie, from Christchurch, has decided to leave behind her family, friends and coach of 17 years for three months in order to challenge herself and increase her mental toughness as she works towards competing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Sophie said she chose to come to Mansfield so that she could train with some of the best in the sport. Ollie is the Paralympic, World and European champion and World Record holder in the SM8 200m Individual Medley event and is now working hard on the 2020 Paralympics.

The Mayor said: "This is very exciting news for Mansfield and testament to the top-class facilities that we have. It's long been said that there must be something in the water in Mansfield for us to have produced so many world-class Olympic and Paralympic swimmers so we aren't at all surprised that Sophie has chosen to come here above anywhere else.

"We hope Sophie will benefit from her time in our pool and that she receives a warm welcome to Mansfield and enjoys the many benefits of being located near the heart of Sherwood Forest."

Published Thursday 3 May 2018. 

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