The parents of the Commonwealth Games triple gold medalist diver, Jack Laugher, were treated to a surprise celebration in his hometown of Ripon.
Official Team England partner, npower, and swimming legend Mark Foster arranged the surprise event at the Ripon Spa Hotel on Friday, April 13.
The party, to thank the people of Ripon for the support they have shown Jack, coincided with his final event in the Commonwealth Games, the Men’s Synchronised 3m Springboard Final.
Ripon residents turned out in force to gather around the hotel TV screens and cheer Jack on as he competed in the final, having already won Gold in both the Men’s 1m Springboard and 3m Springboard Finals.
Jack's mum, Jackie, said: “Although we would have loved to have been in Australia with Jack, it has been fantastic to see the power of support among our local community and to celebrate Jack’s achievements with everyone here at home.
“This will mean so much to Jack when he sees how everyone has been huddled around the TV supporting him. We are all extremely proud of our roots here in Yorkshire and Jack is incredibly thankful for the backing he has received from everyone throughout his career.
"There is a fantastic community spirit here where everyone supports each other and today has been another example of that. Thank you npower and everyone who attended to create such a special moment for us to treasure.”
After Jack’s hat trick, parents David and Jackie Laugher, were surprised at their home by former world champion Mark Foster who escorted them to the party where they were welcomed as Guests of Honour by the Mayor of Ripon, Councillor Pauline McHardy.
Jack’s friends and family, teachers and students from his former school, members of the local diving club and Ripon City Netball Club, including their Head Coach and Jack’s former PE teacher Helen Mackenzie, formed the crowd who turned out to support the diver.
The Laughers were also joined by former swimming teacher Sylvia Grice MBE, who set Jack on his way to gold medal success by teaching him to swim as a three-year-old.
The Mayor of Ripon and Mark Foster presented the Laughers with their own medals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the area, the support they have given their son and the significant role he has played in inspiring the next generation of sports stars in the region.
As the medals were presented, the crowd sang along to Jazmin Sawyers and Tokio Myers’ recently recorded version of Jerusalem - the Official Anthem of Team England.
Mark Foster said: “It is the pinnacle of any athlete’s career to represent their country. Accompanying the huge honour is a sense of responsibility. You want to do well for your family, your friends and everyone who has supported you and helped you reach this point in your career.
“I think Jack will be thrilled when he sees how everyone has rallied around to support the Laugher family and how proud he has made everyone in his home town."