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Rodney's Olympians given a warm welcome home

September 4 2008

Rodney's Olympians given a warm welcome home

Rodney Mayor Penny Webster and Councillors were today joined by representatives from the region's high schools to welcome home and congratulate the district's Olympic competitors for their efforts at last month's Beijing Games.

"All of Rodney's residents were impressed by the efforts and achievements of our Olympic representatives," Mayor Webster said. "They have competed at what is undoubtedly the pinnacle of international sporting excellence - the Olympic Games - and have done us all proud."

The Olympians present today were: Barbara Kendall, Windsurfer and five times Olympian who lives in Stanmore Bay, Blair Hopping who lives in Kumeu, a Black Sticks Hockey player, Swimmer Corney Swanepool who lives in Stanmore Bay, David Kosoof lives in Red Beach and a Black Sticks Hockey player, Erin Taylor who lives in Red Beach represented NZ at Canoeing, Sailor Jo Aleh who lives in Muriwai, Kristy Hill from Ngati Whatua Haranui Marae and played for NZ Women's Football team and Shaun Van Rooven who lives in Stanmore Bay and represented the NZ Men's Football team

Mark Scheib - a former Olympian who lives in Red Beach and competed in the 1992 Olympics in Canoeing - led the team in with the Olympic torch.

Apologies were received from Rodney's other Olympians who could not make it: footballer Ian Hogg, sprinter James Dolphin, swimmer Mark Herring and cyclist Sarah Walker.

The athletes were presented with a personal letter from the Mayor and a selection of Rodney produce created by Taste Warkworth. Also during the Games, the Rodney Libraries ran a blog where people from around the region could send messages of support and follow the progress of our athletes. These were also given to the athletes.

"This blog proved very popular and showed the just how interested the people were in the Olympics - and the pride and joy they took in watching their fellow Rodney residents taking on the best in the world," Mayor Webster told the Olympians.

"Today's function was an opportunity for Council - on behalf of people of Rodney - to officially acknowledge our region's magnificent contribution to the New Zealand team effort at Beijing and welcome you all home," she concluded


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