New faces cel­e­brate sport in Coven­try

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS - By LEIGH MENCARINI

THREE new faces have ap­peared on the fa­mous Fri­ar­gate hoard­ing and they cel­e­brate Coven­try’s sport­ing and youth com­mu­ni­ties.

Wasps Net­ball stars Jade Clarke and Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal-win­ning team­mate Natalie Haythorn­th­waite have been un­veiled on the hoard­ing on Sta­tion Square in Coven­try.

Wasps CEO Nick East­wood joined Clarke, fel­low Wasps player Tamsin Moala and fran­chise man­ager Sarah Tay­lor to re­veal the giant smil­ing im­ages, prior to them be­ing fit­ted to the hoard­ing.

Clarke is Eng­land’s all­time ap­pear­ance record holder and has re-signed for Wasps for the 2019 Vi­tal­ity Net­ball Su­per­league cam­paign.

Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Haythorn­th­waite joined Wasps ahead of their in­au­gu­ral Vi­tal­ity Net­ball Su­per­league cam­paign, win­ning back-to-back league ti­tles. Her elite play has led to her join­ing New South Wales Swifts in Aus­tralia for next sea­son.

The third por­trait to be un­veiled was A Level stu­dent, en­tre­pre­neur and am­bas­sador Daniel Ay­o­deji, age 17, who grew up in Coven­try. His photo has also been added to the dis­tinc­tive green and white pan­els.

In an­swer to the ques­tion on the hoard­ing ‘Why do you love Coven­try?’ Clarke and Haythorn­th­waite de­clared: “Coven­try is a pas­sion­ate sport­ing city; Wasps Net­ball is one of the UK’s top per­form­ing teams.”

Ay­o­deji re­sponded with: “No mat­ter your colour, race, eth­nic­ity or religion, Coven­try makes you feel at home.” Stephen Reynolds of Fri­ar­gate said: “Wasps have made a huge con­tri­bu­tion to the city of Coven­try since mov­ing here in 2014, so it is great to see Jade and Natalie on the hoard­ing along­side lo­cal celebrity, Daniel, in recog­ni­tion of their shared love of the city.

“They have each made a con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity and are all in­spi­ra­tional in­di­vid­u­als who serve as role mod­els.

“The net­ballers in­spire oth­ers to pur­sue sport­ing am­bi­tions, while Daniel en­cour­ages young peo­ple to en­gage with ed­u­ca­tion, busi­ness and lo­cal pol­i­tics.”

Nick East­wood, CEO of Wasps Group, said: “Since Wasps Net­ball was born in the city two years ago the club has gone from strength to strength on and off the court, with play­ers such as Jade and Natalie in­spir­ing so many women and girls to get in­volved in the sport, whether it is sup­port­ing, play­ing or vol­un­teer­ing.

“It’s great that they will now wel­come thou­sands of peo­ple into Coven­try ev­ery day at Fri­ar­gate, in­clud­ing those who will be vis­it­ing the city as part of next year’s Euro­pean City of Sport ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Ay­o­deji added: “I’m re­ally proud to see my face on the hoard­ing as I love Coven­try.

“One of my vol­un­teer­ing roles is with the city’s Pos­i­tive Youth Foun­da­tion, an or­gan­i­sa­tion which works hard to help young peo­ple ful­fil their po­ten­tial.”

Con­tent Di­rect Edi­tor

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