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Dorset magazine discovers Olympic Spirit, Olympic Support in Weymouth & Portland

PUBLISHED: 14:33 28 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:11 20 February 2013

The eyes of the world will be on Weymouth and Portland next summer when it hosts the Olympic sailing events.

The eyes of the world will be on Weymouth and Portland next summer when it hosts the Olympic sailing events. As the home of the National Sailing Academy, it has become a hub for Olympic sailors, but have local people and businesses caught Olympic fever? Claire Budd has been speaking to some of them. Photos: Richard Budd.

Extra Mile Chauffeur Travel
Mick Coles

Mick Coles has always loved being a driver and in 2005, when London won the Olympic bid, Mick says he and his wife Julie saw the opportunity to provide quality transport. They launched their Chickerell-based business with just one luxury estate car and the company grew from there. Now Mick will be proudly transporting VIPs during the games though he wont be revealing their identities!
I think the 2012 Olympic Games will really put Weymouth and Portland on the map. It will give the area a much needed financial boost, says Mick.With the new transport system and fantastic new facilities at Osprey Quay, I feel Weymouth and Portland will have been re-invented.
Im looking forward to the atmosphere in the town most of all. I may watch some of the sailing events if I have time. Most of all I will be working hard during the Olympics, transporting my clients to their meetings as well as other VIPs connected to the Games.

My Favourite Place: It has to be my home, the place where I was born and raised and still live and work. The village of Chickerell. Its a hidden gem.

S& W Shellfish Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson sources fresh fish from local fishermen and distributes it, both to businesses in Dorset and top London restaurants - through Billingsgate market. He has a retail shop on Portland and holding tanks for 15 tonnes of live shellfish close to Chesil Beach.
During the Olympic trials the Italian team booked the Pulpit Inn and we supplied large amounts of fresh fish and shellfish for a grand buffet, Paul tells me. The Italians loved it and promised to return in 2012. So we are hoping for more of the same locally and that our London connections will also be busy.
Weve had a lot of local improvements made for the 2012 Games I hope local people will benefit from the Olympic legacy when the Games are over. We also hope the Olympics will boost the local economy. Although my own concern during the Games will be any traffic issues between Weymouth Quay and Portland a journey I need to make several times a day to run my business.

My Favourite Place: Lyme Regis, I enjoy the river walk, the Cobb and the seafront.

S&W Shellfish 17 Chiswell, Portland 01305 822997

Sunflowers Fiona Penny

Florist Fiona Penny runs Sunflowers in St Thomas Street, Weymouth. Opened 20 years ago as a greengrocers, Fiona joined the business when it expanded to include flowers and took over the shop five years later. Shes provided flowers for many weddings, including the marriage of local Olympians - sailor Sarah Ayton and windsurfer Nick Dempsey. It was a bonus that our flowers ended up in Hello magazine! she says proudly. Fiona also provided a bouquet for the Queen on her visit to the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy and, more recently, 48 bouquets for the Olympic test event.
I think the Olympics will be fantastic for Weymouth it makes us a focal point on the map. Hopefully the media coverage will show our beautiful coastal resort off at its best and encourage more visitors to the area. The Sailing Academy and marina is a real bonus for Weymouth and Portland, and the new promenade makes you feel like you could be in the south of France! laughs Fiona.
Im looking forward to next summer when Weymouth will be brimming with people. The whole place is going to be buzzing. Everywhere you can see people sprucing things up from bus shelters to restaurants. I think its fantastic for us. Times are hard for businesses and this could make the difference to some who may otherwise go under. Forget the road works, we need to be positive and appreciate what this great sporting event will bring to our town.

My Favourite Place: Weymouth Beach, especially first thing in the morning just after the sand has been freshly raked and the sun is coming up.

Weymouth and Portland Ambassador Programme Sarah Kennedy
Sarah Kennedy was born in Dorchester and grew up in Weymouth. Shes the Lead Project Officer for the Weymouth and Portland Ambassador Programme a volunteer programme which will enable people to become involved in the Games as stewards and marshals - answering questions, giving advice and generally giving a warm welcome to visitors. The programme has been awarded the prestigious Inspire Mark by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Aside from the more obvious legacy benefits to the area such as the economical and cultural, I feel that having more than 750 trained and enthusiastic event volunteers, from all walks of life, will be a huge benefit to Weymouth, Portland and Dorset, says Sarah enthusiastically.
Im looking forward to seeing our team of Ambassadors welcoming the world to the area. To finally see all the planning and development on paper put into practice with our zealous volunteers is what Im looking forward to the most.

My Favourite Place: Paddleboarding across Weymouth and Portland, summer sunsets at Durdle Door and crisp winter walks through Puddletown Forest.


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