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Boston's Egyptian paralympians reunion

Boston has maintained its Egyptian links formed during the 2012 Paralympics when team members trained at the town's Princess Royal Sports Arena.

A mainstay of the association was Pauline Chapman, Boston Borough Council's executive assistant to the corporate management team.

She had the job in 2012 of being lead volunteer looking after the Egyptian para athletes during their time in Boston. Pauline went beyond her duties ensuring the visitors were introduced to the best of Boston and Lincolnshire, including traditions such as a trip to the seaside and fun in the amusement arcades.

Since the athletes return to Egypt, Pauline, who had made lifelong friends, recently met up with some of them again at the Para Athletic World Championships in London.

Pauline said: "We got on really well during our time together in 2012 and we promised to stay in touch, and we have done.  We also promised that if ever we got the opportunity to meet again we would, and five years later we have. Five out of the original "Boston Six" were competing at the world championships.

"I received  a late-night phone call from Ibrahim Badr saying they were coming to London and would love to meet up.  When we arrived at the hotel Ibrahim was waiting for us and quickly called the others to join him.  We had lots of hugs and smiles and they were introduced  to my husband, Glen, who they didn't meet when they were here in 2012 - and everyone insisted on calling him Mr Glen.  The team also generously brought me some gifts from Egypt."

Over the next two days they caught up on each others' news and shared family pictures. 

Pauline and Glen also met the head coach, Dr Hamdy, who was in Boston in 2012.  They also met Dr Hayat Khattab, President of the Egyptian Paralympics Committee, who said the athletes had told her all about Pauline and had said that Boston pre-training 2012 was their best ever because of her assistance. 

"I felt very humbled by this, but extremely proud to have put Boston on the map," said Pauline. "We have been messaging since that time and I know we will continue to stay in touch for many years to come."

Ibrahim Badr  and Ibrahim Abdelwareth secured bronze in the men's discus and men's shot put respectively. Mostafa Mohammed (100m, 200m and 400m sprints) and Metawa Abou Elkhir (discus) both securing respectable fourth places in their events and Mohammed Komal fifth in his discus event.

Yader Abdelaziz Elsayed was not part of the original  Boston team, but was quickly introduced, having already secured bronze in the  javelin. He gave Pauline his medal to try on.


Pauline and Egyptian friends Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Pauline meets her Egyptian friends five years after their visit to Boston - from left, Mostafa, Pauline, Metawa, Mohamed, Ibrahim Badr, who organised the reunion in London, and Yader.

Pauline with bronze medal Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Pauline with Yader and his bronze medal.

Pauline and Mr Glen Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Pauline and "Mr Glen" with coach Dr Hamdy who came to Boston in 2012.