Olympic achievers are honoured

Olympic heroes were honoured at a civic reception in Helensburgh on Saturday December 8.

Silver medal-winning sailor Luke Patience and wheelchair tennis ace Gordon Reid, both of Helensburgh, were the guests of honour at the function hosted by Argyll and Bute Council Provost Isobel Strong.

They were joined by local residents, community representatives and politicians who wanted to celebrate Luke and Gordon’s remarkable sporting achievements in this year’s London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Among those offering their congratulations were council leader Roddy McCuish, former Provost and Freeman of Argyll and Bute William Petrie, MSP Jackie Baillie and MP Alan Reid._01O7327

Arriving at Helensburgh’s Hermitage Academy, guests were greeted by a piper before taking their places in the balloon-filled main hall.

A special celebration cake decorated with images of the two Olympians had been commissioned for the occasion.

Head teacher Geoff Urie gave gifts to the two sportsmen, including specially made ‘Hall of Fame’ t-shirts. Both men appear on the school’s roll of honour – an early indication of the sporting stardom to come.

Council Provost Isobel Strong gave Luke and Gordon a silver salver and a bottle of Loch Fyne whisky with personalised commemorative labels to mark the council’s recognition of their talents and performance in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Provost Strong (pictured above with Luke and Gordon) said: “This was a very happy occasion and I hope that everyone has enjoyed celebrating Luke’s sailing silver medal and Gordon’s tennis success right here in their home town of Helensburgh.

“Both Luke and Gordon are remarkably accomplished in their chosen sporting fields. Luke has worked extremely hard to reach silver medal standard in sailing, while Gordon has been determined that serious illness will not affect his enjoyment and success in tennis.

“They have both already been listed in the school’s Hall of Fame, long before their amazing Olympic performances.  Even at school, their sporting prowess was very much in evidence. Argyll and Bute is very proud to have two Olympic heroes in its midst, and being able to honour their achievements is an absolute pleasure.”

Following the presentation of civic gifts Luke, Gordon and guests enjoyed a meal together before a short concert from young musicians at Hermitage Academy, including fiddlers, singers and the school swing band, brought an enjoyable evening to a close.