Young people experience the Park's sporting legacy for themselves

More than 1,000 young people got a taste of life on the Olympic Park after the Games when they tried a host of different sports under the expert eyes of local coaches.

They took part in the first of the 2012 series of One Movement festivals run by East London Business Alliance and funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, which aims to increase sports participation in the Six Host Olympic Boroughs.

The young people aged between 11 and 19-years-old from the Six Host Boroughs, got the chance to try up to 13 different sports and activities in the Copper Box, where Olympians will be competing for medals in three months’ time.

The multi-sport event, which was opened by former 110m hurdler Tony Jarrett, was a glimpse into the future life of the venue, to be known as the Multi-Use Arena after the Games, when it reopens in 2013 as a multi-use, community venue.

The London Legacy Development Corporation will operate the venue as an affordable and accessible facility offering a full range of sports. Around 90% of its use will be dedicated to local communities with the cost of hiring a court the same as the average price of a local leisure centre.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“Encouraging sport and healthy lifestyles in East London will be one of the most important legacies from the Olympic Park. Events like One Movement are a taste of things to come, as we work with local communities to make the best use of the Park’s world class facilities.

“Legacy plans are further ahead than any previous Olympic host city. This venue will be home to more than a dozen indoor sports after the Games and we are programming it now to ensure that sports clubs, schools and community events are the lifeblood of the venue.”

Eileen Taylor, Chair of the London Legacy 2020 Programme, said:

“ELBA’s Legacy 2020 members have been working in partnership over the last six years towards creating a lasting social legacy for the communities in the Olympic Host Boroughs delivering projects in the field of skills, culture and sport. We are thrilled to launch our summer programme of One Movement sports festivals this year in the Olympic Park, alongside the ELBA mentoring and business support for 50 local sports clubs. During 2012, One Movement will encourage over 11,000 young people to try out a whole array of sports and fun activities with a view to creating longer-term participation.”

Olympian Tony Jarrett said:

“Sport can change lives, and it is fantastic to see so many young people being given the opportunity to get involved before the Games have even started.

“The Copper Box is an inspiring venue and the fact that it will be used for community sport after the Games will be a special legacy for young people in London.”

The sports and activities for young people were set out in 11 different zones in the 7,500 seat Copper Box. They were handball, dance, judo, table tennis, athletics, cycling, rowing, pentathlon, new age kurling, resistance sliding and tennis.

They were put on by a host of sporting governing bodies and local sports groups including England Handball, East London Dance, British Judo and The Lawn Tennis Association.

The young people were signposted to local clubs so that they could continue to play the sports they enjoyed in their borough.

One Movement sport festivals are part of the In the Parks programme funded by The National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, and managed by ELBA with the support of the Development Corporation and London Legacy 2020.

The Development Corporation announced in January that the Multi-Use Arena and the Aquatics Centre would be operated by GLL and generate 254 full time jobs, 410 apprenticeships over the next 10 years with 85% of jobs going to people in the Host Boroughs.

As part of the contract, GLL will be doing outreach work in the surrounding boroughs in increase sports participation.

Local school children from host boroughs quotes and images:


Akbar Irampaye, 14, from Langdon Secondary School, said:

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to take part in sports at the Copper Box before the Games even begin. I can’t wait for the Games to begin so having this chance today is fantastic.”

Image: Akbar Irampaye: or

Hayley Waddon, 15, from Langdon Secondary School, said:

“It’s great to experience what the athletes are going to experience during the Games. I didn’t know what to expect but today has given me an idea of what we can expect after the Games. Really exciting.”

Image: Hayley Waddon  Image: Group shot


Tori McLelland, 10, from Holy Trinity Primary School, said:

“It’s really amazing being here today and I like the fact there are so many different sports to try out. The Copper Box is a surprising venue and I loved it inside – really good fun and a great chance to try out an Olympic venue before the Games and feel what it must be like to be part of the Olympics.”

Image: Tori McLelland and

Jordan Campbell, 9, from Holy Trinity Primary School, said:

“My favourite part has been walking through the Park and seeing what it is really like to be here. I feel like a VIP guest getting in here before the athletes and getting to try out sports at the Copper Box. Really special and something I will never forget”

Image: Jordan Campbell: and


Muslima Sheikh, 14, from Mulberry School for Girls, said:

“I really like the Copper Box. It’s really colourful and different and I’ve never seen an arena like this before with so many different sports to try from athletics, curling to judo. It is so much fun.”

Image: Muslima Sheikh
Fahimul Hoque, 13, from Stepney Green Secondary School, said

“I never thought I would get a chance to have a go at all of these different types of sports on the Olympic Park. I love sport especially the athletics which has been lots of fun to take part in today. I want to have a go at everything.”

Image: Fahimul Hoque with Olympian Tony Jarrett


Cydney Dell, 14, from West Hatch Secondary School, said:

“It’s really big – I didn’t expect the Copper Box to be so big on the inside. It’s really cool to be able to experience what the athletes are going to experience”

Image: Cydney Dell
Ishmel Lewis, 11, from Norrington School, said:

“It’s quite amazing to see the building and know that the athletes will be here in just a few weeks time and that we have stepped foot in the building before they have ever even seen it. The Olympic Park looks amazing and I am looking forward to the Games.”

Image: Ishmel Lewis
Jessica Day, 13 from West Hatch Secondary School, said:

“This is my first time on the Olympic Park. I really didn’t know what to expect but it is great to be here before the athletes are and to be part of this big sporting event.”

Image: Jessica Day


Mini Kharel, 15 from Crownwoods College, said:

“It’s great to be here and trying all these different sports under one roof with our friends. Really good fun and we also get a chance to see what the Park looks like. I want to come back to the Copper Box after the Games.”

Image: Mini Kharel with Tony Jarrett
Kiran Van Den Berg, 11, from Greenwich, said:

“Today has been great. To have the chance to try out all of these different sports in the Copper Box before the Games is really amazing and I now can’t wait for the Games.”

Image: Kiran Van Den Berg (left)


Linda Nwachukwu , 15 from East Brook Secondary School, said:

“I’ve never seen the Park before so I was shocked by everything that we saw. It’s cool to be able to say to the athletes that I had the chance to be here before them. That is really special.”