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March 1, 2005

Footballer Ollie's gold Deaflympic medal win

From: Harlow and Bishop's The Citizen - UK - Mar 1, 2005

By Jenny Clarke

A SOLID gold victory was celebrated by Chingford footballer Oliver Monksfield, who was on the medal-winning British Deaflympics team.

Ollie, 23, of Endlebury Road, recently arrived home from the 2005 Deaflympic Games, held in Melbourne, Australia, proudly clutching his gold medal.

The central midfielder said that taking part in the international competition had been the experience of a lifetime. His team beat off fierce competition to make it to the finals where they claimed a 2-1 victory over the Iranian squad.

If it had not been for the support of fundraisers the Walthamstow Lions, Ollie said he might not have been able to make it to Australia After reading his appeal for sponsorship in the Guardian last year, the Lions decided to donate the £600 he needed for the trip. The group has supported many other local good causes over the years, and was pleased to be able to help out.

Jim Purnell, of the Lions, said: "We had a meeting with Ollie just before Christmas and he talked about his ambitions and plans. We agreed to fund the amount he needed for his trip to the Deaflympics. It's important for us to be able to help people in our community. That's what we're here for."

Ollie is looking forward to a bright future in sport. He enjoys playing for local side, Hale End Athletic Football Club, and after finishing his part-time coaching studies course at Luton University, he hopes to complete a Post graduate Certificate in Education.

He also coaches deaf, disabled and able-bodied youngsters with Tottenham Hotspur and is set to start training with the British deaf team for the qualifying rounds of the 2007 European Championships to be held over the next few months.

He thanked the Lions and everyone else who helped him to raise funds for the trip, and also said a special thank you to his girlfriend, Martine Lavety, who made a surprise trip to join him in Australia.

The Lions are always looking for new members. The group meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the County Arms pub, Hale End Road, Highams Park. More information is also available on the website at

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