Team Great Belton backing Jessica-Jane in Paralympics

Big-hearted Belton villagers have rallied round to give swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate a boost as her London Paralympics countdown gathers pace.

The Railway Tavern was the venue for an Olympic evening with the screening of the Olympic opening ceremony and photographs with the Olympic Torch for a �1 donation.

Jessica-Jane benefited from the evening which raised a grand total of �250.

Her aunt Vicki is manageress at the Railway Tavern so Jess has become very well-known over the years to the locals and regulars.

She has opened many fun days in the past and helped to raise a lot of money for others so the locals decided it was about time she was given some financial help towards her extra expenses before the Games.

Vicki said: ‘The locals have really got behind Jess and would love to see her do well in London.

“We are all so proud of her for even making the qualifying times but then to be selected too, it was just amazing.

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“We have had T-Shirts printed and I will be opening the doors from 10.30am on Friday, August 31 which is the morning of Jessica’s 100m backstroke heats and from 9.30am on Sunday, September 2 which is the morning heats of 200m freestyle.

“We will be screening these events live and anyone wishing to show their support and join us will be more than welcome.

“Jessica will turn 16 whilst at a training camp before moving into the Athletes Village so she won’t be doing much celebrating on her birthday.

“This is a massive achievement for anyone and we want her to know that Team Great Belton is with her all the way.”

Jessica’s family thanked Alex Pinniger (UEA City of Norwich) for providing her with training and support throughout the summer, Mr Franklin (surgeon) at the James Paget for putting her back together in time to compete; Ormiston Venture Academy, who have helped financially and supported her with time off for events and everyone who has helped her get this far.

Jessica-Jane said: “I can only try my best.

“I just hope that it is good enough to reach the finals and then who knows!”