Volunteers from Croydon play their part in the Paralympic opening ceremony

The Olympic Stadium in Stratford (Credit - Michael Smith www.pictureinme.com)

Coleen Smith at the opening ceremony (Credit - Michael Smith www.pictureinme.com)

Kate Nash danced throughout the ceremony

Rachel Starling was one of the umbrella dancers

The Paralympic opening ceremony has been described as spectacular (Credit - Michael Smith www.pictureinme.com)

First published in Latest News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Three volunteers from Croydon took part in the Paralympic opening ceremony.

Coleen Smith, Kate Nash and Rachel Starling performed with Professor Stephen Hawking and veteran actor Sir Ian McKellen in front of a capacity crowd.

They described the atmosphere as electric.

Mrs Smith, 35, who lives off Purley Way, was a dancer involved in the Celebration of Science part of the event, which was based around Sir Isaac Newton.

She said: "There was about 5,000 applicants for it so it was great to get through.

"It was totally amazing. It was fantastic to represent Great Britain in an event such as this. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity I will never forget.

"Backstage the atmosphere was electric, everyone was excited. The roar of the crowd when we were out there was great, I couldn’t believe I was actually there."

Mrs Nash, 57, from Caterham, was also one of the dancers for the event. She was one of the volunteers who circled the arena and danced throughout the whole event.

The retired teacher, said: "Just being there in that stadium and having the honour of following around the GB athletes was just fantastic.

"I always wanted to be involved in some way in either the Olympics or the Paralympics so it is so good for it to actually happen."

Ms Starling, who grew up in Croydon but now lives in Caterham, was a dancer in the book section of the event, which also featured Sir Ian McKellen, and was one of the umbrella dancers in the introduction to the event.

She said: "The number of people that united for this was brilliant. All sorts of people were involved to make it work, it was a fantastic buzz.

"The crowd was phenomenal. We knew what the stadium was like but there was nothing quite like going on and hearing the roar of that crowd. It was unbelievable."

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree