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20 September 2012, 07:19
Suffolk's Paralympians and torch bearers did a lap of honour around Ipswich Town's ground last night, as part of an event celebrating their achievements.
In front of a crowd of 16,000, three of the county's Paralympic athletes and seven torch bearers stepped out to applause from both home and away fans.
The London 2012 Paralympic Games included five Suffolk athletes, including powerlifter Zoe Newson who won bronze in the ExCel centre. Seven people from Suffolk took part in the 24-hour torch relay from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic stadium.
Simon Clegg, Ipswich Town Football Club's chief executive, said:
"The supporters gave a fantastic ovation to our Olympic athletes when they were here for the Blackburn game and I'm sure our Paralympians and the torch bearers will get a similar reception.
To see venues packed out for the Paralympics in London showed how much the people of this country enjoyed the sporting spectacle."
Before the pre-match parade, the athletes and torch bearers attended a special civic reception at Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House headquarters. Aldeburgh resident Eva Loeffler, daughter of Dr Ludwig Guttman - the founder of the Paralympic Games - attended the reception, along with Needham Market artist Amy Louise Nettleton, Suffolk's Paralympic Flame Ambassador who brought the flame from London to Suffolk.
Councillor Colin Noble, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member responsible for sport and the Olympics, said:
"The London 2012 Games confirmed to the world that Great Britain is at the forefront of Paralympic sporting success.
Key to that achievement was the contribution of Suffolk's Paralympic athletes. They did our county, and the country, proud.
What's important now is that their success is used to inspire more people into disability sport. We've set a standard that we must maintain for years to come."
Pictures by: Suffolk County Council