Happy birthday future Olympic stars from Norfolk

Today is a special day for these Norfolk youngsters as they eagerly tear open their birthday presents.

But the sight of the six-year-olds blowing out their birthday candles will soon be dwarfed by a more momentous occasion when they take the centre stage in the London 2012 Olympic games.

The four lucky children - Anna Gardiner, Charlie Aldous, Kyan Tijou-Hoyles and Evan Woodcock - will be playing a special ambassadorial role in the games or the 2012 Paralympic Games by taking part in opening and closing ceremonies and welcoming athletes.

They are from a group of 10 Norfolk children who will be taking part in the games as part of the Children's Promise Olympic scheme set up 2004 during the games' bidding process.

The scheme saw the parents of any children born on December 20, 2004 register their child to become a games ambassador.

Nationally more than 700 children registered to taking part in the games and they could be seen on millions of television sets around the world in 2012.

The parents of Anna Gardiner, Emma and James, from Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, are counting down the days until their daughter takes centre stage in London.

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Mrs Gardiner, a 37-year-old house wife from Joyce Way, said: 'We are all so excited. It will be the chance of a lifetime for Anna and it is amazing to think she will be taking part.

'She is beginning to understand what the Olympics mean and knows the whole world will be watching.'

The parents of Evan Woodcock, Justin and Claire, from Dereham, are also looking forward to seeing their son take part as a seven and a half-year-old.

Mr Woodcock, a 38-year-old IT manager from Moorgate Cottages, said: 'We are proud Evan will be playing some part in such a big event.'

Diss youngster Charlie Aldous is hoping he will rub shoulders with sporting stars and celebrities when he takes part in the games watched on by his proud parents Jane and Andy.

Mrs Aldous, 30 and a Slimming World organiser from Louies Lane, said: 'We are very excited and happy for Charlie.

'It is going to be the chance of a life time for him.'

Kyan Tijou-Hoyles is from Walcott, near Cromer, and has been inspired by the Olympics to take up trampolining.

His father Duncan, 31 and a bank worker and married to Holly, said: 'It is just really nice for Kyan to be involved. We are proud of him.'

Each of the Children's Promise youngsters has received a birthday card from the organisers of the London 2012 games signed by running legend Sebastian Coe every year since 2004.

Lord Coe, chairman of the games organising committee, said: 'The children and their families are on a journey with us as we work towards the summer of 2012.

'I would like to wish all our Children's Promise participants a very happy sixth birthday, a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.'