The faces of Wasps Netball star Jade Clarke and Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning teammate Natalie Haythornthwaite have been unveiled on the famous Friargate hoarding on Station Square in Coventry.
Wasps CEO Nick Eastwood joined Clarke and fellow Wasps player Tamsin Moala and Franchise Manager Sarah Taylor to reveal the giant smiling images prior to them being fitted to the hoarding.
Clarke is England’s all-time appearance record holder and has re-signed for Wasps for the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague campaign.
England international Haythornthwaite joined Wasps ahead of their inaugural Vitality Netball Superleague campaign, winning back-to-back league titles. Her elite play has led to her joining New South Wales Swifts in Australia for next season.
A Level student, entrepreneur and ambassador Daniel Ayodeji, age 17, who grew up in Coventry, also unveiled his photo which has been added to the distinctive green and white panels.
In answer to the question on the hoarding ‘Why do you love Coventry?’ Clarke and Haythornthwaite declared: “Coventry is a passionate sporting city; Wasps Netball is one of the UK’s top performing teams.”
Ayodeji responded with: “No matter your colour, race, ethnicity or religion, Coventry makes you feel at home.”
Stephen Reynolds of Friargate said: “Wasps have made a huge contribution to the city of Coventry since moving here in 2014, so it is great to see Jade and Natalie on the hoarding alongside local celebrity, Daniel, in recognition of their shared love of the city. They have each made a contribution to the community and are all inspirational individuals who serve as role models.
“The netballers inspire others to pursue sporting ambitions, while Daniel encourages young people to engage with education, business and local politics.”
Nick Eastwood, CEO of Wasps Group, said: “Since Wasps Netball was born in the city two years ago the Club has gone from strength-to-strength on and off the court with players such as Jade and Natalie inspiring so many women and girls to get involved in the sport, whether it is supporting, playing or volunteering.
“It’s great that they will now welcome thousands of people into Coventry every day at Friargate, including those who will be visiting the city as part of next year’s European City of Sport activities.”
Ayodeji added: “I’m really proud to see my face on the hoarding as I love Coventry and everyone is welcome here. One of my volunteering roles is with the city’s Positive Youth Foundation, an organisation which works hard to help young people fulfil their potential.”