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Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly
Holmes was certainly the star of the show when she named the
P&O Ferries’ latest ship Spirit of Britain in a ceremony at
Dover’s Eastern Docks on Thursday.
Guests watched her unforgettable
Olympic success on television screens before she was heralded into
the lounge, receiving a standing ovation.
Speaking of the importance of the
will to win, the desire to stay out in front and to remain at the
top of your game as a sporting champion, Dame Kelly said many of
the same qualities, strength, stamina and strategy, were needed in
"The reward if you get it right is
success," she said. "I agreed to become godmother of the Spirit of
Britain because I recognised many of those traits in P&O
"Not only is
it a household name but it is one of the biggest employers in East
Kent and my home county. It is also a generous sponsor of a
talented athletes programme which gives five young athletes in Kent
financial award with the ultimate hope of competing in the Olympics
in 2012. Of course that was a big tick in the box."
"I am pleased to know that Spirit
of Britain has set many new records, being the biggest, longest and
widest ferry ever to operate on the Dover Strait."
P&O Ferries chief executive
Helen Deeble said they had wanted a special person to be the ship’s
godmother. "Dame Kelly grew up locally in Kent, served in the armed
forces and became known for her sheer determination and courage.
She gave a stellar performance and never gave up."
Full story and photos in
next week's Dover Mercury.