Olympic Games and legacy under starter's orders
After years of preparation and expectation, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are at last upon us. For Lee Valley Regional Park Authority however, the focus is also on what will happen after the Games with our legacy plans set to take off from 9 September, the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games.
As chair of the Cycling Group comprising the Six Host Olympic boroughs, British Cycling, sports charity Proactive and local colleges, the Authority has helped establish five new BMX tracks in east London with a sixth soon to be launched. They will be the home of new BMX clubs and develop riders who will be able to compete at a higher level within the sport and on the Olympic BMX track which will form part of Lee Valley VeloPark.
The Authority has recently recruited a dedicated Cycling Development Officer, to support the creation of legacy sports plans at Lee Valley VeloPark and to increase the number of cycling opportunities across the Park. Lee Valley VeloPark, which will have the iconic Velodrome at its heart, is set to open to the public in late 2013 offering four different cycling disciplines; track in the veldrome, BMX on the adjoining Olympic track, which will be modified for public use, a one-mile road circuit and 9km of mountain bike trails, which will be added after the Games, helping to create one of the finest venues for cycling in the world.
Discussions are also underway to make all ten tennis courts at Lee Valley Tennis Centre, which will be located at Eton Manor in the north of Olympic Park, indoor. This would enable it to acquire international venue status allowing it to stage tournaments like the Davis Cup in east London for the first time. The hosting of high profile international events is key to our legacy work because of their commercial importance and potential to inspire youngsters.
Lee Valley Hockey Centre has already secured the 2015 European Hockey Championships and in the same year Lee Valley White Water Centre will stage the World Canoe Slalom Championships, which will generate £1.5 million for the local economy. A wide range of community programmes will be implemented at all our London 2012 venues to ensure that they are community focused and commercially driven.