Castledawson pupil is runner-up in letter competition

A PUPIL of Castledawson Primary School is Northern Ireland’s runner up in Royal Mail’s Young Letter Writer competition.

Eleven-year-old Laura Gregg, a Primary 7 pupil, impressed the judges with her letter to Paralympic Horse Rider, Sophie Christ

Royal Mail’s annual competition now in its 36th year, aims to recognise the nation’s best young letter writers and encourage children to be creative through letter writing.

In the countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, children were asked to write about what the Olympics mean to them, in which they could write to their favourite Olympian, past, present or future, real or imaginary.

Laura impressed judges with her letter to Paralympic Horse Rider, Sophie Christiansen. Here is Laura’s Letter:

‘Dear Sophie,

I am pony mad, I ride myself and love reading articles about you and your incredible sport. You are my favourite Paralympic horse rider and I admire your skills, dedication and determination.

I know a bit about you from reading about you in Pony Magazine and researching you on the internet. I am amazed at how you can ride at such a high standard despite your cerebral palsy. I think it is great you won your first trophy at 13 years of age. I read that you do exercises to help your core stability and use an electric scooter because you can’t walk long distances. I think it is fantastic you can do all this without letting your disability get In the way of something you really want.

Congratulations on your achievements - being chosen to carry the Commonwealth Games torch, and being “Riding for the disabled National Champion”, riding at the Athens Paralympic Games, winning individual bronze there and also riding and winning medals at 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and World Equestrian Games.

I would like to know some more about you. What other interests do you have besides horse riding? What do you do to calm your nerves and how are your horses trained?

You are a truly amazing rider, someone I look up to and admire. You’re an inspiration to me and other people. Good luck for the future and the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.’

In recognition of doing so well in this competition, Laura received a £50 postal order, a selection of Royal Mail stamps and some stationery.

Mark Thomson, Royal Mail’s Olympics Director said: “I was very impressed with the creativity and hard work Laura put into her letter.

“It was fascinating to read what the nation’s kids think about the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic games because some of the younger ones would hardly remember Beijing. The level of enthusiasm reflects the importance schools place on sport these days.”