History-making Wellingborough Olympian Anita honoured with museum exhibition

Wellingborough Museum had featured Anita Neil in 2012 during the London Olympics

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 16th July 2021, 3:44 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 3:47 pm

Wellingborough sprinter Anita Neil acknowledged by the British Olympic Association (BOA) as Britain's first black female Olympian, will open an exhibition charting her achievements.

It's not the first time that Anita's memorabilia has been on display at Wellingborough Museum, but the new exhibition comes after her official recognition by the BOA gave her a special place in Britain's Olympic history. The pioneering Wellingborough-born athletics prodigy represented Great Britain at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico at the age of 18 in the 100m and the 4x100m relay and went on to compete in the Munich games in 1972.

Robert Wharton from Wellingborough Museum said: "We had small exhibition in 2012 when the Olympic torch came through the town.

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Anita Neil

"This exhibition has a load more of her clothing and more photos."

Earlier this year, Anita had broken her silence about her marginalisation from the sport that she loved.

She wanted to know if she was the first female British athlete to compete at an Olympic Games, a title confirmed in May.

At 11am, Anita will attend the 'opening ceremony' of the exhibition which begins tomorrow (Saturday, July 17).

Anita with the exhibition

She said: "It's been an exciting couple of months. I have been interviewed by Jeanette Kwakye a 100m Beijing Olympic finalist for a BBC documentary.

"People will be able to see the majority of my souvenirs and photos of my medals and I hope to pop down to the museum a few times."

She added: "I'm really looking forward to the Olympic Games in Japan but it won't be the same for the athletes without a crowd.

The exhibition runs at Wellingborough Museum, in Castle Way, until Monday, August 9, during normal opening hours 10am to 4.30pm every day except Sundays.

Some of Anita's international kits will be on display

Mr Wharton added: "She's what's called a very nice person and the only person from Wellingborough to be an Olympian. We need to celebrate her achievements."

Anita at the Mexico games
Anita arrives back at Wellingborough Station with her medals