Apr 19 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A YOUNG Harrow poet won the chance to meet an Olympic athlete after her imaginative rhymes reached the finish line of a nationwide competition.
Catherine Labiran, 17, of Hinkler Road, Kenton, is one of 12 poets chosen by the National Lottery to represent the country for 2012 and as part of the prize she met long jumper Chris Tomlinson.
The St Dominic’s Sixth Form College student, in Harrow on the Hill, submitted a statement about the similarities between sport and poetry.
She said: “I wrote about how we are both performers and both do what we do from a place of passion.”
The English literature student met the British outdoor and indoor record holder during a training session at Parliament Hill on Friday last week and described the meeting as ‘amazing, and more inspirational than she could have ever imagined’.
Catherine said: “Meeting Chris has inspired me and he gave me some advice, which was not to take myself too seriously and enjoy my poetry and youth while I’m still young.
“I can’t wait to work with the other Poets of 2012.”
The teenager said she hopes to be a writer after finishing college.
The Winning Words competition was run by the National Lottery and the 12 winners will compose a poem in celebration of the organisation’s support for the arts, sport and the Olympic Games.
They will now attend a poetry workshop led by artistic director, Jacob Sam La-Rose, and showcase the result at the Olympic Park during the Games.
The National Lottery is investing £2.2 billion in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and funds 1,200 elite athletes, including Chris Tomlinson.