Call to cheer on Ellie during bus parade

A rallying cry was today issued for people to cheer on Walsall’s swimming star Ellie Simmonds as she is treated to an open top bus parade through the borough.

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Residents from across the borough have been urged to turn out and show their support for the Paralympic gold medallist, from Aldridge.

Mayor of Walsall Dennis Anson today said the borough “wanted to make a fuss” of the 17-year-old, who won two golds, a silver and a bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Aldridge councillor John Rochelle also urged people to show their support.

“Ellie is the best thing that’s happened to Aldridge for many years and she is a really good news story and we wish her all the best,” he said. “I hope as many people as possible will come out to support her.”

The former Aldridge School pupil will be on board the bus on October 8.

She will first visit her specially painted golden postbox on Aldridge High Street and will be cheered on by pupils from her former primary school Cooper & Jordan.

It comes after the school, in The Green, announced it is to rename its swimming pool after her. Ellie, who lives in Aldridge but trains in Swansea, will then travel to Walsall Town Hall for a question and answer session with a group of youngsters, who will get to quiz her on her Paralympic experience.

The homecoming parade has been drawn up with input from Ellie and her family.

Mayor Councillor Anson today said: “Ellie has made us so proud and we wanted to make a fuss of her when she returned from London. She is an inspirational role model for all ages but the fact that she wants to give something back to young people is a lovely gesture. It promises to be an unforgettable day but it is also an opportunity for Ellie’s supporters and well-wishers in Aldridge and Walsall to turn out and applaud her fantastic achievement.”

Full details of the route and timings will be announced in the next week.