Girls tell of Olympic adventure

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Two Lancaster water polo players have spoken of the “surreal” experience of being part of the London 2012 Olympics.

Alex Rutlidge and Beckie Kershaw were part of the women’s team that played in front of sold out crowds at the Water Polo Arena during the games.

Rutlidge, whose family live in Burton-in-Kendal, said: “It has been amazing, I’ve enjoyed every minute.

“I really miss it but it’s nice to be home.”

Former Heysham High School pupil Kershaw, 22, said: “We’ve never played in front of that number of people.

“I didn’t know that many people knew what water polo was.

“It was surreal, it doesn’t feel like it really happened.”

The pair, who travelled back from the games on Monday after Sunday’s closing ceremony, said life in the Olympic village, where they lived in Team GB house and had visitors such as the Queen and David Cameron was unique.

Rutlidge, 23, said: “You walked around and saw so many people, it was a great atmosphere. In GB house everyone would stop and say hello and you would see people who had just won gold medals and congratulate them.”

As it was a home Olympics, both girls also said the home support, which included their families, made a real difference.

Former Queen Elizabeth Kirkby Lonsdale pupil Rutlidge said: “The atmosphere was amazing. The crowd were so loud, one of the Spain girls said it was really intimidating. It nice for my mum, dad and sister to be able to come because I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Three male members of the Lancaster club, Ciaran James, Alex Parsonage and Glen Robinson also played at the Olympics along with a host of volunteers who went down to be Games Makers.

Kershaw said: “Some of the younger boys were ball boys and the Olympic slogan was about inspiring a generation, which it really has.”