Paralympian meets poet to celebrate links between sport and art

Hazel Robson and poet Ian. David T. Hewitson/Sports for All Pics

Hazel Robson and poet Ian. David T. Hewitson/Sports for All Pics

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A PARALYMPIAN from Houghton has been helping to put poetry in motion.

Bronze medallist and London 2012 hopeful Hazel Robson met up with County Durham poet Ian Horn to celebrate links between sport and the arts.

Ian won the opportunity to meet the 100m and 200m sprinter during a training session after a nationwide search by the National Lottery and Winning Words, a UK-wide poetry project to find 12 Poets of 2012.

The 12 Poets of 2012 are composing a poem in celebration of the National Lottery’s support for the arts, sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Hazel, who won Bronze at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, said: “Ian is a shining example of how the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is about so much more than just sport.”

The athlete, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby, added: “The impressive range of cultural activities will encourage people from all walks of life to get involved in something new and develop their talents.”

The 12 Poets of 2012 hail from every part of the UK. Once they have met their local sporting heroes, they will attend a poetry workshop led by artistic director, Jacob Sam La-Rose, to create a poem to be showcased in the Olympic Park during The London 2012 Games.

Ian said: “Meeting Hazel has given me a unique insight into the dedication and focus of a top athlete. I can’t wait to work with the other 12 Poets of 2012 and Winning Words to do this justice through poetry.”

The National Lottery is a funder of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, which is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic movements.

This includes The Rest is Silence, an ambitious textual and visual deconstruction of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, interweaving performance, film and installation to create a new interpretation that cuts to the heart of the play, taking place at the Northern Stage, Newcastle, from June 26-30.

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LAUNCHED in 2008, the Cultural Olympiad is a four-year programme of cultural activity. It includes national and local projects as part of a UK-wide Cultural Festival.

National projects launched so far include:

•Artists Taking the Lead, major cutting-edge art works or installations across the UK;

•Stories of the World, showcasing the best of our museum, library and archive collections;

•Unlimited, a celebration of arts, culture and sport by disabled and deaf people.

In Sunderland, artist Cerith Wyn Evans created a giant mobile which hung in a disused warehouse in Pallion as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

There is also an ongoing exhibition at the Monkwearmouth Station Museum featuring poster art from the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

It features work by pop artists including David Hockney, Serge Paliokov, Allen Jones and Max Bill.