NEW YOUTH PANEL CHOSEN TO HELP SHAPE OLYMPIC LEGACY

Thirty young people have joined the 2012 Legacy Youth Panel to help shape the future of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The new recruits are from the six Olympic Host Boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Greenwich and Barking and Dagenham.

They will join the 60 existing Legacy Youth Panel members in their work with the Olympic Park Legacy Company to develop a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:

“Young people are at the heart of the Olympic Park Legacy Company’s plans. The Legacy Youth Panel means they can get involved in designing and delivering some fantastic new facilities for this part of London.

“Legacy plans for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are more advanced than any other previous host Olympic city and this is the generation that will benefit the most.”

“With the Games just a few months away it’s a really exciting time to join the Legacy Youth Panel.”

The new recruits joined the Youth Panel after attending a celebration event in December at the Rich Mix Centre in East London where they were able to meet existing panel members and learn more about the plans for the Park post-Games.

Over the coming months the 90 young people will scrutinise the planning and design of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to ensure the plans meet the needs of young people and their communities.

In particular they will consider plans for the early housing developments on the site and the ongoing work to create two distinct community hubs in the North and South of the park.

The young panel members will also be regular visitors to the Park; they are attending both a community swimming event this Sunday March 18th, and a One Movement event on April 21st which will give local young people the chance to try a number of Olympic sports.

In addition the Legacy Youth Panellists will act as ambassadors for the Park visiting local schools and youth groups and making sure young people in the host boroughs know what is happening on the site after the Games.

Previously, Legacy Youth Panel members have been involved in the North and South Park design competitions. They also played an important part in developing the Legacy Master Plan and have presented their manifesto for young people to Mayor Boris Johnson and former Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell.

Nahimul Islam, 17, a student at La Swap Sixth Form and Tower Hamlets’ Young Mayor said:

“The Legacy Youth Panel is a great way to get your voice heard and really make a difference as a young person. It creates a platform for young people and the reason I joined is to represent the young people of my borough as well as others. I hope to ensure a young people friendly legacy for the Olympics and bring the best out of this youth panel

Sara Azim, 14, Plashet School, Newham said:

“I joined the Legacy Youth Panel to experience and to judge whether the Olympics has had an impact on us locals. By joining this will allow me to get more knowledge about my borough.”

Catherine Northcolt, 15, Bridge Academy, Hackney said:

“I wanted to become a member of the Legacy Youth Panel because I wanted an input into such a big event and the legacy that will be left behind. London isn’t just a home for adults but thousands of young people.”

Destinie Okoibhole, 14, St Ursula’s Convent School, Greenwich said:

“It is a great chance for the youth to get involved in things that will affect us now in the future as we are the next generation and the decisions of today can change lives forever.”

Abrahim Ahmed, 17, Leyton Sixth Form, Waltham Forest said:

“Being a part of the Legacy Youth Panel is just like being part of the Olympics games itself – truly inspirational.”

Amadou Bah, 21, City University, Barking and Dagenham said:

“I am honoured to live in one of the host boroughs and proud to be part of the Legacy Youth Panel. I see this as an opportunity for me to make a difference for my community. The legacy is about the future and us young people are the future. So, who better than us to be part of this panel. I believe change will never come if we wait for others, we are the ones that change has been waiting for and we are the change that we seek.”