WORCESTER’S MP Robin Walker writes for the Observer….
These past two weeks, the athletes representing Team GB have inspired the nation with their hard work, determination, and grit. I’m extremely proud of Team GB and everything they’ve achieved at this year’s Games in what can only be described as extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Everyone back home has been cheering on our athletes from our living rooms, offices, and pubs.
Despite all the challenges, from the 376 selected athletes across 28 sports, Team GB returned 65 medals; 22 gold medals, 21 silver and 22 bronze medals – matching London 2012.
From Worcester, we had our very own Matt Richards who joined the Worcester Swimming Club aged 10, win a gold medal in the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay with his third leg proving pivotal as he handed the team a sizeable advantage to win gold.
There are also high hopes for Becky Redfern, who will compete in the Paralympics. Becky is the reigning world champion and won silver in Rio 2016, and I am sure that all of Worcester will be behind her when the games begin later this month.
The Commonwealth Games will be coming to Birmingham next year and it is a great opportunity for the community as tickets are being made available to people in the West Midlands in an earlier ballot, giving people the chance to see our phenomenal athletes live in action.
GCSE and A-Level results day will culminate years of effort from students across Worcester and I recognise what an extraordinary year it has been with our students having to work harder than ever to achieve their results. Students have faced much disruption because of having to engage with remote learning or longer than usual absences from school through no fault of their own. I wish all the best to all our students getting results and the best of luck getting into preferred courses. Just remember, the results won’t define you and there is always a different pathway to achieving your goals.
I have coordinated a letter, from Worcestershire MPs to the Health Secretary campaigning for funded places at the medical school, which is progressing through the stages of approval. If successful, this new centre for health and medical education will bring new jobs to Worcester, create hundreds of educational opportunities and qualifications in a variety of health professions.
I was also pleased to see more properties in Worcester will be protected as part of the £860 million investment that will better protect 336,000 properties by 2027 – which is crucial to keep up investment in flood defences