Giant Sunderland flag cheers on our Paralympic sailor John Robertson

Friends and family of John Robertson from Sunderland Yacht Club who have travelled down to Weymouth to cheer him on during the Paralympics' competition. The flag in the photograph has been made by Helen Burdon and children at Dame Dorothy primary school.

Friends and family of John Robertson from Sunderland Yacht Club who have travelled down to Weymouth to cheer him on during the Paralympics' competition. The flag in the photograph has been made by Helen Burdon and children at Dame Dorothy primary school.

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A GIANT red and white flag adorned the sea banks at Weymouth to support for Sunderland sailor John Robertson in the Paralympic Games.

Team skipper, John, 40, who was left disabled by a motorbike accident in 1994, is part of the Sonar three-person Keelboat team alongside Steve Thomas and Hannah Stodel.

Hannah Stodel, Stephen Thomas and John Robertson. Credit: onEdition

Hannah Stodel, Stephen Thomas and John Robertson. Credit: onEdition

Friends and family have travelled from Sunderland Yacht Club to Weymouth, on the south coast, to support him.

The brightly-coloured flag was made by Helen Burdon and children at Dame Dorothy Primary School.

Teachers from the school go to Sunderland Yacht Club and are friends of John.

The Sunderland Yacht Club emblem was emblazoned on the flag alongside the Dame Dorothy School badge.

Close friend and keen sailor Anthony Miller, from Fulwell, has known John since the pair were at Monkwearmouth School.

The 37-year-old offshore worker said: “They said they would take the flag in and get the kids to decorate it.

“Lots of people have been coming up to get their picture taken with the flag and asking if we are friends of John.

“People saw the Yacht Club Badge and know we’re friends of John’s and they want to come and talk.”

Anthony is also a member of Sunderland Yacht Club.

He said: “I used to sail with John at the Yacht Club until he started in the Paralympics and now he trains with the same people.”

Anthony and other friends from the club will be camped out on the banks of the Channel to cheer on their pal until the end of the competition.

Anthony said: “It’s great here. Everyone is friendly and the atmosphere is really good.

“It would be brilliant for John to win a medal in front of all his friends and family when we are all here to support him.

“I don’t think words would be able to describe what that would mean to him,” Anthony added.

Twitter: @sunechohannah

A Durham poet who wrote a poem celebrating London 2012 has visited the Olympic Park today to see his work displayed.

Ian Horn was one of the ‘12 Poets of 2012’ who jointly wrote an athlete inspired poem which forms part of the National Lottery’s showcasing plot in the Olympic Park.

Ian saw the nine totems on which the poem has been displayed during the Olympics and Paralympics.

He said: “Hearing the poem which I helped write being read out on the Olympic Park and knowing that so many people from around the world will have heard it to really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”