Hundreds to honour town’s Olympic hero
Civic reception for Catherine Skinner at Mansfield Recreation Reserve Friday
MANSFIELD’S welcome home and congratulatory civic reception for Olympic gold medalist, Catherine Skinner, is set to be huge this Friday.
Catherine won her gold medal in the women’s trap shooting and became an Olympic champion in her very first Olypmic Games at Rio last month.
Trap shooting since she was 12 years of age, Catherine, now 26, has competed around the world in many events, with her first international event at the age of 16.
She holds other medals at Oceania Games and World Championships and competed for Australia two years ago in Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.
Mansfield’s celebrations were first planned for the median strip in High Street.
However, indicated numbers attending to Mansfield Shire Council organisers has meant this venue would not suit due to space and safety and it has now changed to the Mansfield Recreation Reserve.
“We are expecting more than 600 school children to attend for a start,” said shire executive assistant Lisa Fricke.
“That’s not counting the general public and other dignitaries.
“All schools around the district have been invited to attend, three of which have indicated students are excited to greet and meet Catherine.”
Special guests will include Cindy McLeish (MLA Eildon) and Daniel Young (MLC, Northern Victoria).
Shire Mayor Paul Sladdin will have the honour of welcoming everyone to the civic reception which commences at 11am.
Catherine will be presented with the “key to shire” – a customary key which gives her ‘free movement within the shire’ – a British tradition going back many hundreds of years.
Following Mayor Sladdin will be Cr Russell Bate who will chat with Catherine in a question and answer segment when hopefully she will describe how she won and what her feelings were after winning.
It will then be time for Catherine to come down from the platform and meet with school children and local residents and show off her gold medal.
Mrs Fricke said the formalities of the day are expected to only take about 30 minutes but then the meet and greet with children and residents is expected to take much longer.
The MAD Orchestra will be on hand to entertain with music, while members of the Rotary Club of Mansfield will cook up a sausage sizzle.
Unfortunately, due to Catherine’s commitments, timing has been tight and several politicians who were invited are unable to attend including Cathy McGowan (Independent, Indi), Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern victoria) and Wendy Lovell (MLC, Northern Victoria).
Fellow Mansfield shire resident and ‘ the voice of Australian Sport’, Craig Willis, was also invited as he had also attended the Rio Olympics but unfortunately due to other commitments is unable to attend.
WELCOME HOME: Catherine Skinner, Olympic Gold Trap Shooter will be welcomed home this Friday.