Tennis ace will be face of Special Olympics
A TENNIS ace will see his face emblazoned across Cheltenham after he was chosen to star in a new national advertising campaign for the Special Olympics.
Thomas Mellor, 23, will compete in the Special Olympics GB National Games in Bath later this month.
Thomas, who lives in Fairview, will serve up his best tennis game at the Olympics, which is for people with learning disabilities.
And he is one of 12 people selected nationwide for a campaign backed by Coca-Cola to get more people interested in supporting the Olympics.
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Pictures of Thomas will be seen in town from August 12, when he will feature on a poster site in Gloucester Road, Cheltenham.
Thomas will also be seen in national print advertising in the host city of Bath, across the London Underground and on the Coca-Cola digital advertising screen in Piccadilly Circus.
He said: "I was filmed and photographed all morning and I loved it. I can't wait to show my friends my poster in Cheltenham and I can't believe I'm going to be up in Piccadilly Circus."
Chief executive of Special Olympics Great Britain, Karen Wallin, said; "It will be an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives."
As part of the experience, Thomas was given the full VIP treatment at a professional film and photo shoot in London and also took a lead role in a mini-film to promote the Coca-Cola Great Britain and Special Olympics GB partnership.
He recited a line from a poem inspired by the official Special Olympics athlete oath: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Special Olympics GB uses sport to encourage and empower people with learning disabilities, giving them the chance to train and compete in 24 Olympic sports.
Coca-Cola GB has been a partner of Special Olympics GB for 35 years.
John Woods, General Manager for Coca-Cola GB & Ireland, said: "Most of all we want to encourage every one to come down to the games themselves to help create the best, most supportive atmosphere for the athletes."
The 12 people chosen as part of the advertising campaign were nominated for their starring role by Special Olympics GB, the charity that provides year-round sports training and competition for people with learning disabilities.
More than 1,700 athletes from the UK will be taking part in the games, which start on August 28 and run until September 1.