SPORT RETURNS TO QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK

This weekend will see the first sporting event to take place on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games when the Park hosts the National Lottery Anniversary Run.

The five mile run will pass by iconic venues such as the Velodrome and the ArcelorMittal Orbit and will finish on the running track inside the Stadium giving the 12,500 runners a chance to follow in the footsteps of London 2012 heroes like Jessica Ennis, David Weir, Mo Farah and Usain Bolt.

Participants and spectators alike will have the opportunity to see how the Park has transformed over the past year as London Legacy Development Corporation works hard behind the scenes to turn the Park into a fantastic new destination with world class sporting and leisure venues which will create a lasting legacy for east London.

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive London Legacy Development Corporation said:

“What better way to celebrate the anniversary of the Games than by bringing sport back home to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Games may have ended with the closing ceremony on 9th September 2012 but the sporting legacy on the Park has only just begun. The National Lottery Anniversary Run will be the first in a fantastic range of activities focused on encouraging more people into sport.”

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said:

“This is the first major event in the Olympic Stadium since last year’s truly momentous Olympic and Paralympic Games. It marks the start of a lasting legacy from the Games that will see a range of community events for local people as well as inspiring and encouraging more people to take up sport. Everyone taking part in the National Lottery Anniversary Run will receive a warm welcome.”

When the Park opens fully in spring 2014 it will be a world class hub for performance and community sport, offering a range of 25 indoor and outdoor activities every day, all year round. The Aquatics Centre will offer two 50-metre pools and a diving pool as well as seating for 2,500 spectators while the Lee Valley VeloPark will be the best cycling venue in the world and the only one to bring together track, BMX, road and mountain biking. The state-of-the art cycling facilities include the world’s fastest indoor track in the iconic velodrome, a remodelled Olympic BMX track, a new 1.6km outdoor road circuit and 9km of mountain bike trails with links to London-wide cycling routes. Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre will have two outdoor hockey pitches, six outdoor and four indoor tennis courts. The £30million club house will include changing rooms bars and social areas. In 2015 the venue will stage the European Hockey Championships, the first international sporting competition secured for the Park after the Games. It will host the 2014-2016 Wheelchair Tennis Masters, bringing the eight best wheelchair tennis players to London in a contest similar to the ATP Masters.

The Stadium will also host some of the world’s best sporting action, including five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the IAAF and IPC Athletics World Championships in 2017. It will also be the home of West Ham United Football Club from 2016 who will take residency as the Stadium’s long-term anchor tenant.

To allow people to enjoy the Park as different parts of the work reach completion, the Legacy Corporation is opening Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in phases, starting with the Copper Box on 27th July and parts of the North Park on 29th July.

As London’s third largest arena, the Copper Box will offer courts for 20 different sports including basketball, boxing and badminton as well as a state-of-the-art 80 station gym. The venue will not only provide fantastic facilities for the community, it will also be a home for elite sport. The Copper Box Arena will be used by the London Lions basketball team for home matches, it will be a venue for six championship boxing fights from 21st September 2013 in association with Frank Warren Productions as well as hosting some of the world’s best badminton players when they return to London to compete in the London Grand Prix Championships in October.

While building and landscaping work continues to happen across the Park to ensure its on track for its full opening in 2014, some access has to be restricted. Anyone planning to visit should check www.QueenElizabethOlympicPark.co.uk before travelling, to find out what is open and the best way to get there.