Olympic champion Anthony Ogogo unveils youngsters’ artistic efforts

The artistic skills of a group of community minded youngsters were given a sporting seal of approval by an Olympic champion today.

Lowestoft boxing star Anthony Ogogo took a trip further up the coast to Cobholm to unveil a newly decorated underpass, which has been given a new lease of life thanks to the efforts of eight inspired teens.

Using the theme of the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and youth culture the creative youngsters turned the pedestrian subway in Mill Road - which had previously been a target for vandalism - into a colourful graffiti mural, as part of a community project that ran over the summer holidays.

The teens from Great Yarmouth and Norwich took part in the government's National Citizen Service Project, which aims to offer young people opportunities they may not normally be given, equip them with life skills and give them the chance to give something back to their neighbourhoods.

The four week project was split into two weeks of residential trips, where they took part in adventure activities and team building games which included a week at Easton College in Norwich, and two weeks working in the community. As well as painting the mural they also helped clean up the local area with litter picking sessions.

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And their efforts were praised by the 23-year-old bronze medallist who cut the ribbon to the colourfully decorated underpass today (Monday).

Anthony said: 'It was really enjoyable and it was great to be able to go to something local. It was a brilliant thing and really encouraging.

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'They did it all in a day so that was amazing, I was really taken aback by it.'

Paul Farmer, team leader with YMCA Norfolk who helped run the citizen project, said Anthony was 'fantastic' with the teens who had been excited about his visit.

He added: 'He was really impressed with what the kids have done and spent a lot of time chatting to them and discussing what they'd done. He was really welcoming and posed for lots of photos.'

Mitchell Palmer, 16, from Gorleston, was among the youngsters who took part in the scheme.

He said: 'I have really enjoyed it, I have made new friends and it is much better than sitting around all of the holidays.'

? YMCA Norfolk will be running another National Citizen Service during the October half term. For more information call Louise Hampton on 01493 854162.

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