Bolton sporting stars set for sculpture 

Spirit of Sport
Spirit of Sport sculpture

More sporting stars and unsung heroes will be added to Bolton’s iconic Spirit of Sport sculpture.

Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny, paralympians Rachael Latham, Anthony Griffin and Sophie Hancock, and cricketer Sajid Mahmood are some of the sporting personalities who will see their images displayed on the sculpture.

The Spirit of Sport was erected five years ago on the De Havilland Way roundabout near the Reebok Stadium and Bolton Arena.

In total, 50 extra ‘sportraits’ will be etched onto the 30 metre high, trophy-shaped sculpture, which recognises those who have contributed to sport in Bolton at all levels. The new images will be added on in March.

It is currently covered with 650 mirrored photo-etchings of local people and the new sportraits will fill the bottom two rows.

The stars will be joining the likes of former Wanderers player Tommy Banks and Kathleen Taylor who was the first woman to swim Lake Windermere in 1951.

Bolton Council and Bolton Sports and Physical Activity Alliance received hundreds of nominations from local clubs and organisations.

The successful nominees will be gathering for an event at Bolton Town Hall on February 4 to celebrate their achievements.

Councillor John Byrne, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, said: “The Spirit of Sport is a fantastic landmark for the town and it recognises all the people who make sport in Bolton what it is today. We deliberately left space on the sculpture to add more sportspeople to reflect the changing face of sport in Bolton. All of the people being added are connected with sport in the borough in some way and we’re delighted to recognise their contribution.”

Olympic medallist Jason Kenny added: “It is fantastic that Bolton has this excellent sculpture that recognises the wealth of local talent. Its great to be included and I am thrilled to have been chosen.”

Paralympian swimmer Rachael Latham said: “I feel very privileged to be included on it. The Spirit of Sport encourages and promotes the sporting achievements of Bolton and I have been very proud to represent my swimming clubs Horwich and Bolton Metro for the past 10 years.”

The Spirit of Sport is sponsored by Bolton Wanderers Football Club, the Emerson Group, Hitachi and Reebok. Funding was provided by the European Regional Development Fund, the North West Development Agency and the Bradshaw Gass Trust.

For more information about the Spirit of Sport visit the website, details are on the right hand side.

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Salma Nakhuda
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