An Olympic inspiration for artists

Shelly Woods
Shelly Woods
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FYLDE flyer Shelly Woods will be picture perfect for the London 2012 Paralympics.

The 24-year-old wheelchair racer, from St Annes, is set to pose for young artists during drawing classes set up to mark the 2012 Games.

The free three-day summer school will be held for 14 to 19-year-olds at the National Portrait Gallery in London in August.

Shelly holds the British record for the 400m, 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m and marathon and won bronze at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

And she hopes the portrait classes will inspire budding young artists to follow their dreams.

Shelly told The Gazette: “I am really looking forward to joining the art classes at the National Portrait Gallery.

“It is great to be involved in such an exciting project which, in the spirit of London 2012, has a real legacy in inspiring young people of all abilities and backgrounds to paint and draw.”

Shelly is now going full speed ahead for the London 2012 Paralympics.

She added: “I will be 26 by the time 2012 comes around, and hopefully I’ll be right at the top of my game and ready to go out there and do well.

“Everything I am doing is preparing me for 2012 and making sure I am in the best shape I can possibly be in for me to go out there and be the best I can be.”

The summer school – the BP Portrait Award: Next Generation project – will take place at the National Portrait Gallery for the second year running.

Young people can apply for a place on the summer school which will involve working with past BP Portrait Award winning artists and experimenting with oil painting, life drawing and other portraiture techniques.

Fran Hegyi, senior cultural adviser for London 2012, said: “London 2012 is proud that this project is part of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival.

“The games are about more than just sport, and we hope the BP Portrait Award: Next Generation will leave a lasting legacy for young people and will hopefully help discover the young artists of the future.”