Hun­dreds to hon­our town’s Olympic hero

Civic re­cep­tion for Cather­ine Skin­ner at Mans­field Re­cre­ation Re­serve Fri­day

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By PAM ZIERKMAHON­EY

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.

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