Olympic legend tours factory and presents a golden ticket to Rio games

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Employees at a furniture manufacturer based in Heanor and Alfreton were delighted to get a visit from a legendary Olympic gold medallist.

DFS staff at the Lincoln House and Heanor Gate factories were thrilled to greet Sydney Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis.

Everyone had a chance to meet the star, but the visit was extra special for Colin Papworth, a machinist supervisor at the Heanor Gate wood mill.

Denise paused her factory tour to present him with an all-expenses paid trip to the Rio 2016 Olympics, as part of the DFS reward and recognition programme after he was nominated by colleagues for his contributions to the workplace.

Colin said: “It’s a great privilege and honour to be recognised and rewarded for the work I do.

“It was a complete surprise not only to receive a visit from Denise Lewis, but also to receive such fantastic nominations from my colleagues. I am completely over the moon with the trip to Rio and cannot thank DFS enough.”

Denise has been meeting DFS teams across the UK as one of the official Team GB ambassadors for the UK sofa retailer.

Paul Bailey, factory manager at Heanor Gate wood mill, said: “Denise was a brilliant addition to the team.

“She’s certainly got us all fired up for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, particularly Colin who is a tremendous team member and thoroughly deserves to be rewarded for his efforts with a trip to Rio.”

During her visit, Denise tested the Britannia sofas which are bound for Team GB’s British House base in Rio de Janeiro.

She said: “After a long day on the track, relaxation is vital for any athlete’s success, and this gets my seal of approval.

“Today I’ve seen the invaluable support a sponsor, like DFS, can give Team GB but also the comfort of having the nation behind them.”