N16 - OLYMPIC BID - stories 2004, Olympic Bid website

A number of news items appearing on the Olympic Bid website have referred to 'Crystal Palace' which suggest the NSC (National Sports Centre) in Crystal Palace Park can play a part in the Olympic Games should they come to London. There is strong support for improved sports facilities amongst the athletes who use the centre, local residents and also others who are part of the stakeholders' dialogue process.


London stages Europe's largest youth sports festival - 12 July 2004


London staged Europe's largest youth sports festival at the weekend with more than 12,000 of the city's best young athletes competing in the finals of the 27th BAA Heathrow London Youth Games.

Children from all 33 London boroughs took part in 28 sports at Crystal Palace in the youth event supported by London 2012, which is bidding to host the Olympic Games and Paralymplc Games.

The event was attended by Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who demonstrated her support for the bid by Jumping through the EDF Energy Leap Counter which tracks public endorsement of the campaign.

London 2012 bid chairman Sebastian Coe offered a message of welcome and told participants:

"The Games provide young Londoners with the chance to get a foot on the sporting ladder and help to develop and encourage young people's sporting talent.

"With thousands of young people involved, the event is a fantastic festival of sport and provides an excellent platform for youngsters from all walks of life.

"As a former athlete and olympian, the Olympic Games profoundly and positively influenced my life. I want to give that opportunity to others and leave a lasting sporting legacy for future generations" added Lord Coe, who won olympic 1500m gold medals In Moscow In 1980 and Los Angeles In 1984."

The youth event was opened by former boxing champion Michael Watson, one of Britain's sporting icons who raised millions of pounds for charlty when he completed the London marathon course in six days despite being partially paralysed.

Watson, whose arrival with the official youth games flame was greeted by a roar of welcome from 3,000 children aged between six and 11, told participants: ''It's great to see so many children taking part Ina variety of sports at such a young age."


Bid backs Europe's largest youth sports event - 27 May 2004


Olympic great, Seb Coe, has joined wtth some of the potential stars of tomorrow to launch Europe's largest youth sports event - the BAA Heathrow London Youth Games.

The London 2012 Chairman joined youngsters taking part In the games in Trafalgar Square to host a masterclass and a question and answer session.

He said:

"The BAA Heathrow London Youth Games provide young Londoners with the chance to get a foot on the sporting ladder and help to develop and encourage young people's sporting talent.

"With thousands of young people involved, the event is a fantastic festival of sport and provides an excellent platform for youngsters from all walks of life. Very few Initiatives are able to promote young Londoners In slJCh a positive way.

"Many of these young contestants may well go on to compete In the 2012 Olympics and projects slJCh as this can only help to develop and encourage British talent for the future.

"To take part In such a highly-competitive and fun event provides an Invaluable experience for the young people of the region.

"We know from a recent opinion poll that there is fantastic support from young people for the bid and we want to capture and build on that enthusiasm across the country."

More than 20,000 children, representing the 33 London boroughs, will take part In the games, to be held at Crystal Palace In July, competing In 28 sports from athletics to archery and swimming to squash.

They will be following In the footsteps of slJCh sports stars as athletes Linford Christie, John Regis, Jo Fenn and Steve Backley, and footballers Ashley Cole and Ledley King.

This year London 2012 Is Joining the Youth Games as an official partl\er, alongside Its other supporters such as the Greater London Authority, the London Active Partnership, Sport England, the Association of London Government and the Royal Navy.

Jon Phillips, of BAA Heathrow, event sponsors for the eleventh year running, said: "BAA Is proud to be asslKlated with slJCh a fantastic event and we welcome the new partnership with London 2012.

"This year's games have been given an extra boost following the shortllstlng of London for the olympics In eight years' time and we hope that some of the young people taking part this year will be able to do so In their hometown In 2012."


Palace boost for London bid - 24 February 2004


The refurbishment ot London's key athletics centre has been welcomed by the team bidding to bring the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to the city.

The revamped National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace could even be used a training base for one of the competing nations In the Games In 2012.

London 2012 spokesman Mike Lee said:

"This Is great news for London, the elite athletes that use the facility and the community.

"With the track, a 50 m pool and an indoor sports hall, Crystal Palace could make an ideal holding camp for anyone of the 200 countries that may complete In London In 2012."

All options for training facilities for the Games are being worked on at the moment, he added, and the bid team was "delighted" that Crystal Palace has been confirmed as one of those options.

The deal to secure the future of the south London venue was announced by Sports Minister Richard Cabourn and ''Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

It means that the acclaimed annual Grand Prix athletics event (pictured above) will be staged this summer on a re-surfaced track while work begins on plans for a major long-term overhaul.

Mr Cabourn said:

"This means that Crystal Palace will continue to provide Its facilities not just for the excellent Grand Prix event, but on a dally basis to both the London community and our top level athletes."

Mayor Livingstone added:

"This is great news for sport in London, and great news for the area. We now have an opportunity to turn the run down and under-used stadium, sports centre and park into a new heart for South London."

The deal, between Sport England, the London Development Ageocy (LDA) and Bromley Council, will see Sport England take over the lease while the LDA draw up detailed plans for a redeveloped or replacement sports centre.

The LDA will take over the lease In two years' time, and is immediately starting work with local groups artd stakeholders to produce the plans for an enhanced sports centre and park.


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