Olympic star Sally Gunnell opens Goodmayes sports day

About 500 members of staff, service users and an Olympic gold medallist embraced acres of open field to celebrate the North East London Foundation Trust’s (NELFT’s) sports day.

About 500 members of staff, service users and an Olympic gold medallist embraced acres of open field to celebrate the North East London Foundation Trust’s (NELFT’s) sports day.

Double Olympic medallist Sally Gunnell cut the ribbon across the Goodmayes Hospital, Barley Lane sports field to open the event, with the help of NELFT chairman Jane Atkinson and chief executive John Brouder.

Before she cut the ribbon, Sally Gunnell, who is an ambassador for the 2012 Olympic Games, said: “I’m really delighted to be here. Sport has been fantastic for me. People just think sport just benefits physical health, but it benefits the whole body.”

Staff took part in rounders, football and table tennis, while Chigwell-born Ms Gunnell chatted with the crowd, before a team lined up to take part in the Goodmayes mile run in the hospital grounds.


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Mr Brouder said: “Having such an inspiring sports woman here is a big boost for everyone’s achievement.

“There’s no doubt that mental health and physical exercise are linked.”

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Ms Gunnell told the Recorder she is still an avid runner, after winning gold in the 400m hurdles in the 1992 Olympics.

She said: “People ask me if I still run. I have to, to stay sane.

“I juggle being a mother of three and an Olympic ambassador. Running is a great way of relieving stress,” she added.

Trust chairman Miss Atkinson said: “The message NELFT is communicating about health and overall wellbeing is great.

“The trust’s vision for the future with mental health and community health services will really mean first class services for our communities.” Before the event closed, chief executive Mr Brouder handed out trophies to the winning football teams, rounders team and the tug-of-war teams.

All participants on the winning teams received medals and all participants received a taking part certificate.

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