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Lewisham sprint legend joins Hall of Fame
12:56pm Thursday 11th October 2012 in Sport
John Regis, Lewisham LondonYouth Games competitor Alex Yee, mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock and Balfour Beatty's Mike Peasland
LEWISHAM athletics star John Regis was officially inducted into the London Youth Games Hall of Fame at an awards evening hosted by Steve Backley MBE at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
Regis represented Lewisham at the London Youth Games is the early 1980s before going on to become one of the mainstays of the GB athletics team for over a decade.
The sprinter won 18 medals at major championships, including world indoor championship 200m gold in 1989 and 4x400m relay gold along with Roger Black, Derek Redmond and Kris Akabusi to famously beat the USA at the 1991 world athletics championships.
Regis was also twice an Olympic medallist, winning 4x100m silver in 1988 and 4x400m bronze in 1992.
He said: “I’m very proud and very honoured to be part of the London Youth Games Hall of Fame.
“The London Youth Games was imperative, it helped give me the belief I could go on and be successful.
“To me it was like a mini Olympics with so many kids all at the same place all vying to be the best and it inspired me to do better and helped me in my career.
“In my first year as an London Youth Games athlete, I only finished sixth in the final and I know there were other quality athletes who did worse, so you just need to keep believing and keep striving and things will happen.”
There were a total of six inductees to join the Hall of Fame on the evening, including Greenwich’s Gemma Gibbons.
The 25-year-old became the first British judo fighter to win an Olympic medal in 12 years when she struck silver at the London Games in the under 78kg class.
Still a member of Metro Judo Club, she represented Greenwich at the London Youth Games in her formative years. She said: “It’s an amazing feeling, especially seeing all the guys that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame before.
“They are such famous and inspirational sports people, I feel really honoured to be a part of it.
“The London Youth Games has been really important in my career.
“It’s a tournament that sits strongly in my heart. It’s one I took part in on many occasions and one I always looked forward to. It’s the only multi-sport event you can take part in at that age.
“I was lucky enough to be from London and to be able to compete in it.”
Plumstead’s Roseanne Blaze was awarded the GamesForce volunteer of the year award at the ceremony.
GamesForce is the young volunteer programme of the London Youth Games and in 2012 including around 2,500 young people who donated around 20,000 hours to the year-round event.
Blaze, who studies at Bournemouth University, played a leading role in the organisation of scores of volunteers in and around the borough village area at the London Youth Games finals week at Crystal Palace in June and July.
The 21-year-old said: “I am really shocked, I honestly don’t know what I did that was so special.
“Everyone else involved has done a really good job too.
“I was mainly in charge of the borough village at the finals.
“It was making sure the officials and participants were all well looked after and knew where to be.
“It was little things like making sure the signs were in the right place.
“I also helped out with the results team to work out which borough had won.”
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