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Mansfield's Paralympic swimming champion Sam Hynd announces his retirement

Sam Hynd won gold in the S8 400m Freestyle at Beijing 2008 Credit: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport

Mansfield's Paralympic champion Sam Hynd has announced his plans to retire from swimming.

Hynd won a gold and bronze at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and also picked up a bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympics.

His gold in the S8 400m Freestyle at Beijing 2008 saw him break the world record - which still stands today.

On his retirement, the 22 year-old said:

"I just felt it was time for a change and a new challenge in my life. I have been competing internationally for almost ten years and I knew I needed a new focus.

“I have loved swimming. It has been my life for so long and brought me so much. I have great friends and I have travelled the world and I have some memories that I will never forget.

“Winning gold in Beijing will be something that will stay with me forever."

Sam Hynd and Liz Johnson during the Team GB Olympic Parade in London Credit: Glenn Copus/Evening Standard/PA Wire

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Paralympic champion relocating to Loughborough

The four times gold medal-winning Paralympic champion, Ellie Simmonds, is relocating her training base to Loughborough University, following the IPC World Championships in August.

Ellie won two gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics last summer Credit: ITV News Central

The swimming star will take advantage of the world-class facilities available in Loughborough, while also being closer to her family home, which is located in Walsall.

Gold post box in Stratford-upon-Avon given fresh coat of paint

The post boxes in Stratford-upon-Avon Credit: ITV News Central

A post box in Stratford-upon-Avon to mark James Roe's success at the London 2012 Paralympic Games will remain permanently gold.

The post box on Bridge Street was painted gold last summer.

It has been given a fresh coat of gold paint and a plaque to remind residents and visitors of the local link to London 2012.

The post boxes being painted last summer Credit: ITV News Central

Gold medalist Ellie Simmonds is moving to Loughborough

British swimmer Ellie Simmonds Credit: Lefteris Pitarakis/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Ellie Simmonds has today announced that she will be relocating her training base to Loughborough University after the IPC World Championships in August.

The move will provide Walsall-born Simmonds, who won two gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics last summer, with the opportunity to utilise the facilities available in Loughborough, while allowing her to return to the close proximity of her family home, which is located in the Midlands.

"Loughborough's obviously an incredible campus, with an unrivalled sporting heritage that will provide me with an exciting new challenge and an opportunity to push myself even further," said Ellie Simmonds.

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Athletes from the Midlands to pick up honours

Anna Watkins Credit: PA

Olympic rower Anna Watkins, from Leek in Staffordshire, will receive an MBE for services to rowing after she won the gold medal in the double sculls.

The 30-year-old Cambridge graduate is currently expecting her first child while studying for a PhD in mathematics at the University of Reading.

Danielle Brown Credit: PA

Paralympic archer Danielle Brown, 25, from Telford in Shropshire, who won gold in the 2012 games, will also receive an MBE for services to sport.

London 2012 Paralympic gold medalist gives Midlands youngsters a swimming lesson

London 2012 Paralympic gold medalist, Josef Craig, has been swimming with children in Walsall to celebrate the efforts of youngsters who are learning the sport.

Last month, a survery by the Amateur Swimming Association revealed that almost fifty per cent of children ageed seven to eleven in the West Midlands cannot swim twenty five metres on their own.

He told ITV News Central that anyone can get involved in swimming.

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