Olympic athletes draw inspiration from Holt artist

Kirsty O’Leary-Leesen with the colouring book which features her designs.

Kirsty O’Leary-Leesen with the colouring book which features her designs. - Credit: Submitted

A local artist who runs workshops for vulnerable people across Norfolk has had her images selected to feature in an official 'Team GB and National Lottery Colouring Book' being given to athletes in Brazil.

One of Kirsty's designs.

One of Kirsty's designs. - Credit: Submitted

To celebrate the 2016 Rio Olympics, The National Lottery has come together with community arts groups that have been supported by Lottery funding to create the colouring book, which has been designed to wish the teams good luck and help them relax in the build up to the games. It will be given out to athletes attending the Team GB Preparation Camp in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, which The National Lottery has funded as part of its ongoing support for Olympic and Paralympic sport.

Kirsty O'Leary-Leesen, from Plumstead, near Holt, received £10,000 of Lottery funding in February to run arts and crafts sessions for vulnerable members of the community, young people, socially isolated older people and families.

Kirsty's drawings 'Rio', 'Gymnasts' and 'Medals' have been chosen to feature in the book. She said: 'I'm honoured to be involved in this project, it's amazing to think that my drawings will be seen by our athletes competing in this year's Olympics. This a great way of bringing together our athletes with projects like ours that have also benefited from funding.'

Images in the Team GB and National Lottery Colouring Book encompass various sporting events that will take place at the Olympics including athletics, boxing, judo, swimming, gymnastics and cycling as well as medals and good luck messages.

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National Lottery players are the biggest supporters of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, funding more than 1,300 so they can train full time and access some of the best coaching, facilities and medical support in the world.

National Lottery funding also supports thousands of arts, heritage, grassroots sport and community groups around the UK.

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Jackie O'Sullivan, National Lottery Good Causes Director, said: 'We have been blown away by the drawings we received.'

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