Chippenham charity fundraiser, Barry Fennell, recently had the opportunity to join Team GB for the day as the athletes made their final preparations for the Rio Olympic Games.
Barry, 41, was the winner of a competition run by official Team GB suppliers, Simon Jersey. People across the UK were asked to nominate inspirational individuals to experience the excitement of a day at kitting out - the final stage of the athletes’ journey before the Olympics when they receive all of their kit.
He was guided through the process by former Olympian Denise Lewis OBE, and was able to see all of the top secret kit for Rio as well as taking part in all of the entertainment provided for athletes.
Both Barry, and friend and colleague Adam Sydney who nominated him for the experience, were then able to take away a Team GB kit bag as well as a full three-piece suit designed by Simon Jersey that athletes will wear at formal events.
The prize was awarded to Barry after Simon Jersey judges were impressed by the entry written by Adam, who has worked with Barry at catering company Elior for two years. Adam described how Barry had inspired, encouraged and helped him to get active and complete charity challenges while also doing his own charity fundraising, raising £5,000, and mentoring local young people.
James Saunders, Simon Jersey managing director, said: “We were all really impressed with Barry’s story and determination to support the local community, while also inspiring others to take on personal challenges.
“It was great to be able to meet him and kit him out for a Team GB suit alongside some other well-known heroes from British sport.”
Barry was able to meet athletes from cycling, canoeing and athletics. He and Adam are the only people outside Team GB who now own one of the suits designed by Simon Jersey for Rio 2016.
He said: “I didn’t know that Adam had nominated me, so it was a huge surprise to be told that I’d won. I had a fantastic day meeting the athletes and seeing how they prepare for an Olympic Games, and it was great to be able to take home some of the same kit they’ll be taking to Rio.”