December 7 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
400m world champion Christine Ohuruogu today launched the world’s first ever Compact Athletics Facility.
he facility, which includes a sprint straight, a long jump straight and pit, a high jump area, a running trail around the school and a throws area, is the first ever athletics facility in the borough of Hackney and aims to drive participation and club membership in the urban east London community.
It is an athletics legacy initiative funded by England Athletics (EA), Sport England and the London Marathon Trust, with support from UK Athletics (UKA) in Stoke Newington School, east London.
Newham and Essex Beagle Ohuruogu was joined at the launch by an eager class of sports students from Stoke Newington School and their head teacher Annie Gammon, as well as England Athletics chief executive Chris Jones, Sport England’s regional strategic lead for London, Hannah Bladen, and Hackney borough councillor Jonathon McShane.
The Compact Athletics Facility is the first of its kind, the brain child of England Athletics with Sport England providing development and technical support and commissioning architects to put the idea into reality.
The variety of elements that make up the facility allow a wide range of athletic disciplines to be accessed in a confined space and for limited cost. Targeted at this busy area in east London, 400 people from the local community will use the facility out of school hours each week initially, as well as its everyday use by school children.
Double Olympic medallist Ohuruogu, who grew up a matter of miles from the new facility, spoke of how she hoped to see future stars of British athletics uncovered on the Stoke Newington track, where she mentored young athletes earlier today.
She said: “Visiting schools like this and inspiring the next generation is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here to open a brand new type of athletics facility, giving thousands of local kids a chance to take part in the sport that has done so much for me.
“It’s great to see our sport’s governing bodies really taking the legacy of London 2012 seriously and getting creative with ways to get athletics into the inner-city. It’s crazy to think that Hackney did not have its own athletics track until now and the Compact Facility is a really good solution in a busy area with a lot of young stars waiting to be uncovered.”
Christine Ohuruogu and Mo Farah have been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.