Olympic star Robin Cousins visits the Rainbow Centre

Harriet Lee, 16

St John’s College, Southsea, GCSE art exhibition

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OLYMPIC gold medallist and Dancing on Ice judge Robin Cousins got his skates on to head for a children’s centre.

The former professional ice skater, who won gold in the 1980 Olympics, visited the Rainbow Centre in Fareham yesterday afternoon to meet the children and the staff.

Ice skating legend Robin Cousins with (left to right), Blair Martin (10), Hannah Watts (eight), Sam Chandler (seven), and his brother Ben Chandler (10).'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141443-1-2) PPP-140516-170032003

Ice skating legend Robin Cousins with (left to right), Blair Martin (10), Hannah Watts (eight), Sam Chandler (seven), and his brother Ben Chandler (10).'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141443-1-2) PPP-140516-170032003

Yesterday The News reported that the centre had reached its £150,000 fundraising target after eight frenetic weeks during which it was feared it may have to close due to a lack of funds.

During Robin’s visit, he sat down with children and answered questions about his life, how he started ice skating and his later career.

He also did some activities with them including a collage.

Robin, who’s a patron of the centre on Palmerston Drive, in Fareham, told the children how to spin on the ice and skate backwards.

He said: ‘You have to be very careful when you skate backwards and when you spin.

‘But if you find the right spot on the blade of the skates, you can keep spinning and spinning.

‘I did a Guinness World Record attempt ages ago and managed to spin over 400 times without stopping.’ The children had prepared their questions as a group before Robin arrived and took it in turns asking them.

They asked him how many times he has met the queen and if he gets nervous before a competition.

He said: ‘The trick is to use your nerves to make you do better.

‘If you train your nerves, they can help you.’

When Robin arrived, centre manager Lara Bull and founder of the centre Helen Somerset How told him about how they had reached their target.

He added: ‘It really is great news and lovely to hear.’

The centre, which looks after children with cerebral palsy and other motor skills problems 
as well as adults who have suffered a stroke or have Parkinson’s Disease, launched its appeal on March 24.

Lara said: ‘It was wonderful having Robin visit the centre to spend the afternoon with the children.

‘We have exceeded our target and it was great telling him that.

‘He’s a patron of the centre and he was in Chicago with Helen Somerset How’s daughter.

‘He came and visited the centre and fell in love with it as you tend to do when you come here.’

For more information about the Rainbow Centre and the work that it does, log on to rainbowcentre.org.

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