Theresa wins place in olympic poets’ team

Lee McConnell & Theresa O'Hare
Lee McConnell & Theresa O'Hare

A RETIRED teacher from Bearsden has been selected to work with a group of poets drawn from across Britain to produce a poem that will be showcased at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Former modern languages teacher Theresa O’Hare entered the National Lottery and UK-wide poetry project group Winning Words sponsored competition through Strathkelvin Writers’ Group, of which she is a long term member.

She had to submit a 500 word piece on ‘The endeavours of the poet and the endeavours of the sportsperson’.

Theresa said she was ‘delighted’ to get an e-mail telling her she had been selected as the only winner from Scotland. She will travel down to a poetry workshop in Birmingham to meet up with the 11 other poets next month.

The widow with a family of five said: “It was a surprise, but I’m delighted and it will give me a terrific lift up to do something like this so close to the Olympics.”

As part of winning, Theresa also came face-to-face with Scottish double Olympian Lee McConnell at the Crownpoint Sports Complex in Glasgow. The 400m runner - who is the most medalled Scottish athlete in history with medals at World, European and Commonwealth Championships - is one of Britain’s great hopes for a podium place this summer.

Commenting on meeting Lee, Theresa said: “It has given me a unique insight into the dedication and focus of a top athlete. I can’t wait to work with the other poets to do this justice through poetry.”

The finished poem will celebrate The National Lottery’s support for the arts, sport, the year of Creative Scotland and the Paralympic Games.

Jokingly, Theresa referred to the 12 poets as ‘Poetry Team UK 2012’ and said it will be wonderful to meet the poetry workshop artistic director, Jacob Sam-la Rose.

The finished poem will be officially unveiled at the Olympic Stadium with the 12 poets in attendance.

The National Lottery is investing £2.2billion in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and 2012 the Year of Creative Scotland. Funding from National Lottery players allows 1,200 elite athletes to train to the highest of international standards.