By Tom Degun

EllieOctober 2 - Ellie Simmonds, Britain's four-time Paralympic swimming champion, has made a special appearance in the West Midlands to open a new Sainsbury's Coventry store Support Centre.

The 17-year-old from Walsall, who is a Sainsbury's Active Kids and Paralympic Ambassador, cut the ribbon to officially open the centre and signed autographs for colleagues during her appearance.

The centre for the retailer's Tu clothing and general merchandise areas is situated in Ansty Park and has seen all 550 colleagues from the existing Store Support Centre transfer across to the new site.

"It was great to open Sainsbury's new Coventry offices and meet some of the colleagues who'd supported me throughout the Games," said Simmonds, who won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics.

"They've even named a meeting room after me."

Simmonds' latest outing with Sainsbury's, a Tier One sponsor of the London 2012 Paralympics, comes less than a month after she helped the supermarket giant launch their Games legacy project, "Active Kids For All", which will see it invest £1 million ($1.61 million/€1.25 million) over the next four years to get more disabled children in school involved in sport.

The announcement last month also saw Sainsbury's unveil a new four-year sponsorship deal with the British Paralympic Association (BPA) through to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

active-kidsEllie Simmonds helped Sainsbury's launch its London 2012 Paralympic legacy project last month titled "Active Kids For All"

"Our Tu clothing and general merchandise teams are really excited by this move and we hope the new facilities will help to drive on these areas of the business to future success," said Sainsbury's town planning manager Paul Green.

"We are delighted to have Ellie here for the opening."

Sainsbury's, which will continue its London 2012 sponsorship through to the end of the year, has also revealed it will give customers one more chance to see the Paralympic Torch as it goes on a 400-store wide tour across the United Kingdom.

The tour began this week and will arrive at the Sainsbury's Coventry store in Trinity Street on October 23.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]