James Cracknell OBE, Britain’s Olympic rowing champion, visited the town on Friday 25 October as part of a learning tour of the South West to prepare for next year’s elections to the European Parliament.
James, who is a Conservative candidate in the elections, visited children at a cycling safety training event at Holy Rood Junior School where he was photographed with South Swindon MP Robert Buckland by Richard Wintle of Calyx.
He then went on to Chalkdown House, an independent hospital for people with complex brain injuries recently opened at Dorcan by the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, ending with view the cycle track at the County Ground.
In 2010 James suffered a serious head injury in a horrific bike when the mirror of a passing truck smashed him off his bike on an open road when he was cycling across the USA for charity. He now spends a lot of time promoting safety for cyclists as well as fundraising for charities helping people with brain injuries.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said “I was really pleased when I was invited to the opening of Chalkdown House earlier this year. It is a much needed facility here within Swindon and it was a great opportunity to show James how far we’ve come, especially when he himself does so much work for Headway, the brain injury association.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Leisure, a keen cyclist and tri-athlete himself, said: “I am so pleased that James visited Swindon to support so much of the Council’s work. Having a sporting hero visit us was a huge coup."