On your marks - Olympic fever gets closer!
27th June 2012
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On your marks - Olympic fever gets closer!

Don’t miss the life-sized eye-catching models of Olympic athletes poised for action outside Southend Civic Centre!

The figures, made out of willow - a wood which is supple and strong just like the real-life sporting heroes - are on show at the Centre in Victoria Avenue, Southend.

Catch the discus and javelin throwers, and the relay runners in pride of place among the flowers.

These are a selection of the breathtaking artworks, commissioned by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and created by Agata Mantaj from the Council’s Parks Team to celebrate London 2012.

Another of Agata’s willow figures – a unique model of a torch bearer, is due to be ceremonially unveiled by the Worshipful the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Sally Carr on Thursday 5th July.

Meanwhile, officials from the Royal Horticultural Society specially requested the three remaining willow figures, a canoeist, a wheelchair tennis player and a mountain biker, to exhibit at the forthcoming Hampton Court Flower Show.

These will be returned to Southend after the show, and displayed at various locations around the borough.

The fabulous figures were previously on view at the Royals Shopping Centre, Southend, helping to promote the Sparks will Fly cultural extravaganza.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Culture, Councillor Derek Jarvis said: “These unique willow figures will remind residents and visitors of the countdown to the next stage in London 2012 excitements – when the Olympic Torch Relay comes to Southend on Friday 6th July.

“It is very apt that these figures are an artistic representation of sports people, because London 2012 celebrates a wide reach of sporting and cultural activities, which I hope will inspire people of all ages to make a commitment to go the extra mile to make the Legacy of the 2012 Olympics a reality.”

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Claire T

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