Monday, 10 September 2012

Jessica Ennis - A 'Golden' Bouquet for Sheffield's Golden Girl

Watching the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics last night and the Olympic Parade today, I felt like many - sad that such a fantastic Summer which celebrated the very best of the human spirit is now over.
Obviously the 'Inspire a Generation' legacy is something which we have to look forward to, but I can't help thinking about how much I'm going to miss all the TV coverage and fantastic stories.

As some of you might know, I became directly involved in the 2012 celebrations when I was absolutely delighted to be asked to design the special ‘Golden’ bouquet presented to Jessica Ennis at the HUGE homecoming organised by Sheffield City Council to honour our very own Olympic champion.

Like so many people up and down the country I’d been glued to Olympics and even travelled down with my family to watch the women’s Marathon in the pouring rain one Sunday, just to be part of the atmosphere.  I felt it would be fantastic to be involved with Jessica Ennis’ triumphant return so I contacted the Town Hall as I’d had the idea to provide the Mayor and dignitaries with a red, white and blue buttonhole designed around a white rose of Yorkshire.  They loved the idea so much that they suggested I might also like to design something for Jessica herself.  I just couldn’t believe it!  

Being part of the event is something I will never forget as I even got to stand in the special V.I.P area and watch the presentation in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people! The evening just got better when I was invited to attend the very special Civic Reception in the evening and meet Jessica herself.  She was, as you'd imagine, so sweet, calm and collected and was kind enough to say she absolutely loved my flowers.

As a result of my story the national and local press went crazy! Nationally, my bouquet and buttonholes were featured on the BBC National News, the Daily Telegraph, and the Mail Online and I was lucky enough to be interviewed by BBC Look North and BBC Radio Sheffield - you can hear why I chose the flowers I did and where they came from by clicking on the links.  I was also featured on The Postcode GazetteFlorist & Wholesale Buyer, Fusion Flowers and popular lifestyle blog Flowerona.

Phew! It was a really intense, slightly surreal week but I loved every minute of it and it was just such a complete honour as you can imagine.   Here are a few photos of the event, in case you missed them.

A 'Team GB' buttonhole 

All boxed up and ready for the Civic Dignitaries of Sheffield

Julie Dore, Head of Sheffield Council - just before her motivational speech to the crowds

A close up of the buttonholes

Me with the Olympic torch!

The reporters from BBC Look North didn't want to be left out and here's Ian wearing a 'gold' buttonhole

And Christa too!

A close-up of Jessica's 'Golden' Bouquet

On stage with the bouquet

At the Civic Reception

Well, that's definitely one to tell the Grandchildren! The 2012 Olympics really, truly inspired me and are something I will never forget.

Tracey x

Photo Credits and Thanks to Jon at S6 Photography and Andy Chubb Photography
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