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How Coedpoeth plans to honour Olympic hero Tom

Published date: 15 November 2012 |
Published by: Liam Randall
Read more articles by Liam Randall


Double gold medal winner Tom James 

Tom James (second left) with other members of the gold medal winning crew 

The site of the proposed pavillion 

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OLYMPIC hero Tom James could soon have a pavilion named after him.

Ambitious plans are in the pipeline to build a new pavilion on playing fields in Coedpoeth to be named after the village’s Olympian.

Cllr Krista Childs, who represents Coedpoeth, said the community is hoping to raise money for a multi-purpose facility which would be named the Tom James Pavilion in honour of the rowing gold medalist.

The 28-year-old’s victory in the coxless fours at this summer’s Olympics was widely celebrated in the village of Coedpoeth, where Tom grew up.

The news comes after Flint Pavilion was renamed in honour of local girl Jade Jones who won a taekwondo gold medal at London 2012.

The current clubhouse on the playing fields is used by Coedpoeth United Football Club, which has more than 300 players at various age levels.

Cllr Childs said the plans would offer better facilities for the club and open the facility up for community use.

She said: “We’ve wanted to develop the area for quite some time and I know the football club wanted better facilities.

“After the Olympics we thought it would be great if we could incorporate Tom James’s achievements into the project.

“Tom has been an inspiration to the whole of the UK but we feel especially proud of him coming from the area.

“His victory has really spurred us on with this and we hope it will encourage more youngsters to take part in sport.”

Plans for the pavilion could also include a cafe.

Cllr Childs said: “We’ve got a great skate park and there’s lots of people who come down to support the football club, so it would be nice if they had somewhere to go, maybe a nice little cafe as part of the facility.

“Both my sons played for the team and they do a lot of work in the community, they’re all volunteers who help out and give a lot of their time and money.”

Paul Edwards, club secretary at Coedpoeth United, has welcomed the proposals for better facilities but said he would like to see any suggestions for the name put to a community vote.

He said: “It’s something we’ve wanted for a long time, as a club we’re hoping to go a long way.

“What we’d like to have is proper changing rooms as the kids can’t use them at present and a seated area for the fans.

“We’d like to make it a community thing where mothers and fathers can come down.”

The club’s facilities were recently targeted by vandals who damaged newly bought dug-outs worth £2,500 just 12 hours after they were installed on the playing fields.

Paul said: “What we need more than anything is a kitchen so we can make cups of tea and food for people and make some money, which could be split between the club and the community to help us with running costs.

“There’s a lot of interest in cricket and rugby in the village as well so it would be good to see the pavilion used for that.”

He added: “With regards to the naming I’d like to see suggestions brought forward and it put to a vote among the community.”

Cllr Childs said the plans are currently in their early stages and the scale of the project would depend on how much money could be raised.

“We need to look at funding from both the community council and Wrexham Council but also we need the community to rally round to raise money,” she said.

Cllr Childs has asked any business owners or residents who are interested in helping with fundraising to contact her.

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Past pictures from Coedpoeth, Wrexham

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