Molly set for Berlin trip to meet the stars

South Wales Guardian: BERLIN-BOUND: Molly Hopkins, aged 11, will be heading to Berlin to interview Paralympian stars. BERLIN-BOUND: Molly Hopkins, aged 11, will be heading to Berlin to interview Paralympian stars.

An aspiring young Paralympian from the Swansea Valley will fly to Berlin for a unique Swansea 2014 mission this week.

Sporting all-rounder Molly Hopkins, aged 11, will rub shoulders with the likes of Richard Whitehead, David Weir and Marcel Hug – as well as Welsh stars Aled Sion Davies and Josie Pearson - at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Berlin.

And Molly, who was born without functional bones in her lower legs, will meet and take part in a training master class with Marlou van Rhijn – the Dutch world and Paralympic champion sprinter who is the world’s fastest female leg amputee.

The one-off trip, from 20th to 22nd June, has been arranged by Swansea 2014 to promote August’s IPC Athletics European Championships and continue a promise to give local young people the chance to be involved in a major sporting event.

Molly will team up with the IPC Athletics to interview athletes for competition broadcasts and social media channels.

“I can’t wait,” said the Ysgol Y Cribarth pupil from Abercraf. “I feel like I’m part of the event and I always notice when I read and hear things about Swansea 2014.

“To watch the athletes and speak to them will be special.”

Her dad Gareth, mum Emma and four year-old brother Fraser will also join her on the trip. Gareth said:

“We’re all really excited but most excited for Molly. She absolutely loves sport and doesn’t get the chance to try some things because of her disability. To have an opportunity like this is very special to her.

“She has always been an incredibly confident young girl and will really get stuck into interviewing the athletes and promoting Swansea 2014.”

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