GB stars put kids through their paces at London Marathon Community Track
The London Marathon Community Track at the London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park officially opened today (Wednesday 18 October), with pupils from the Bobby Moore Academy being put through their paces by Team GB’s World Championships medallists Asha Philip and Rabah Yousif.
This special PE lesson marked the opening of this new community facility provided by The London Marathon Charitable Trust. The Trust provided the biggest single grant in its history, £3.45 million, to construct the London Marathon Community Track. This was the final part of a £6.9 million grant towards the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games legacy facilities, which also included the Lee Valley VeloPark and Tumbling Bay Playground in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The pupils from the Bobby Moore Academy, a new school right next to the London Marathon Community Track, got to test out what will become their school sports facility with the help of Philip and Yousif alongside coaches from Newham & Essex Beagles Athletics Club, which will also now be based at the Community Track. Philip, who won silver in the 4x100m relay at London 2017, and Yousif, who won bronze in the 4x400m, are both members of the famous club.
The London Marathon Community Track was used as a warm up facility at the recent 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships and World Para Athletics Championships and will be managed by the London Stadium. It is available for community use throughout the year with designated sessions for schools and community groups as well as pay and run sessions for local residents. The Community Track will also have a new clubhouse area and gym.
Other groups to benefit from this great new facility include Newham Athletics Network and English Athletics and the West Ham Foundation, which are both part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Active People Active Park programme. It will also be the home ground for east London football team Altis FC and West Ham Ladies, providing a real multi-purpose community use.
The London Marathon Community Track also features a 200-seat stand named after Chris Brasher and John Disley, the co-founders of the London Marathon, which was opened today by their youngest grandchildren, Frances Disley (aged 8) and Rosie Brasher (aged 4), in the presence of other family members.
Sir Rodney Walker, Chair of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: “This is a fantastic moment for The Trust. We have invested the biggest grant in our history to create this amazing facility in the shadow of such an iconic Stadium. The Trust is all about inspiring people to be active and take up sport and I have no doubt this track will do that.”
Asha Philip, World Championship silver medallist said: “I warmed up here ahead of winning my silver medal and it’s great it is now being opened up for kids and my fellow Newham & Essex Beagles to use. Having such an amazing new facility next to the Stadium that hosted the Olympics, Paralympics and World Championships is really exciting.”
Tony Shiret, Chair Newham & Essex Beagles, said: “We have a proud history in athletics and have seen some of the greats compete for our club including Sir Mo Farah, Daley Thompson and now Asha Philip and Rabah Yousif. This fabulous new facility will help us bring on the next World and Olympic champions and to serve the families of Newham, as we have done for the last 30 years.”
Marvin Riley, Assistant Principal & Head of PE, Bobby Moore Academy, said: “Our students are very excited to begin using the London Marathon Community Track and start training. We have a few very good athletes in our year 7 and we look forward to coaching and developing our students. They are all very inspired by the thought of world class athletes using the same track as them.”
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “It is great to see the London Marathon Community Track now open. Our youngsters will share this incredible resource with gold medal winning athletes from Newham & Essex Beagles who will make this track a fitting new home. This was a key part of the legacy from the 2012 Games and something we fought for to encourage increased sports participation throughout the borough. I look forward to watching our young people make the most of this track, be inspired by the athletes who also use it and go on to achieve their own gold medal success.”
Mark Camley, Executive Director Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: “Millions around the world will be familiar with the London Marathon Community Track through the television coverage of this summer’s London 2017 athletics events and we’re thrilled that local children and athletes will now have the chance to train here to become the next generation of champions.”