Girls’ winning words of inspiration

Molly and Alex with their messages for the Olympic athletes, and Simon Jersey MD James Saunders
Molly and Alex with their messages for the Olympic athletes, and Simon Jersey MD James Saunders

Two Colne schoolgirls will fly the flag with British athletes at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Molly Hesketh (12) and Alex Baker (13), both pupils at Park High School, won a nationwide competition to have a message of good luck featured in Team GB’s suits worn at the games.

Molly urged the athletes to, “Believe and inspire a generation”, and Alex told them: “This is your dream, live it.”

Both girls entered the competition run by Simon Jersey, the Altham firm chosen to be the official supplier to Team GB.

The firm is designing the suits athletes will wear to formal events in both Rio and London, with the girls’ words woven in the fabric of the lining to offer extra inspiration as they strive to win gold.

Their messages are two of the 10 chosen from hundreds of others from children around the UK.

The girls have each received a framed copy of their message, embroidered on a sneak peek of fabric that will be used in the suits, and they will be invited to be one of the first to see the finished suit when it is unveiled next year.

Olympian gymnast Beth Tweddle launched the competition and used her experience of competing at the games to help to judge the entries.

She said: “As an athlete, particularly at an away Games, it gives you a huge boost to know that the nation is behind you.

“Having the messages inside the suits will make sure athletes feel the support of everyone back home.

“It was fantastic to read all of the messages but Molly and Alex’s stood out as some of the best that will help inspire our team.”

Teacher Amanda Coward, Head of Year 7 at Park, said: “I think the success and thrill of the Olympics in London 2012 is still inspiring our young people years later. I was overwhelmed by the genuine, honest and heartfelt messages the pupils wrote.

“Alex and Molly can be extremely proud their messages have been chosen and both our pupils and Team GB can feel inspired together.”

Simon Jersey is supplying both the team’s formal suit and the clothing they will wear for the closing ceremony.

Managing director James Saunders said: “We were really impressed with the creative messages that we received in the competition. They really showed the enthusiasm and support of the nation’s youth.”