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UK Athletics

Olympic Park Tour

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Olympic Stadium March 2010


01 April 2010

Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team staff were given a unique view of 2012 preparations yesterday with a tour of the Olympic Park in Stratford.

The party which included UKA’s strategic head of Coaching and development Kevin Tyler as well as a number of developing event coaches, saw first-hand how construction for the Olympic Park was progressing, and an idea of layout for initial logistics planning.

Whilst much of the areas was heavily under construction, several main structures were easily recognisable from the start including the Olympic stadium, velodrome, water park and team village. One of the site’s largest structures was well underway – the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) and the Main Press Centre (MPC) loomed large at the start of the tour, and the information that 20,000 journalists would be working from the venue underlined the scale of the event to take place.

UKA board member Terry Colton, who is Athletics Competitions manager for London 2012 was best positioned to act as tour guide for the group and was able to provide a unique viewpoint of the organisation of the Games from several perspectives.

Commenting on the stadium during the tour Colton remarked: “The stadium is well underway now and the inside is particularly impressive. The rooms are all in place and you find yourself looking around thinking yes – this is really happening.”

Kevin Tyler reflected on his experience as a coach targeting the 2008 Olympics:

“I  remember being taken on a recce to Beijing some ten months prior to the 2008 Games and while it was two and a half years ago it feels like yesterday. We’re little over two years out now and it’s going to fly by, It’s a great opportunity for the coaches to see it at this stage and the reality of it all coming together.

“The stadium looks awesome and the entire complex looks as though it is going to serve up an amazing Olympic  and Paralympic experience. With the work we’re doing with our developing and apprentice coaches it’s essential that they envisage themselves being there or part of future Games with their athletes.”

Also part of the tour were representatives from UKA’s number one sponsor Aviva – whose support will play a key role in helping athletes reach the Olympic and Paralympic stage in 2012.

Heather Smith – Head of Sponsorship for Aviva who saw first-hand the scale of the project taking place said:

“It was stunning to see the stadium up close and be able to view it at this stage of its construction.

“Sharing the tour of the Olympic site with the performance team really helped to bring home the journey athletes are on between now and 2012, and that every time they pull on the Aviva GB & NI vest it’ll be another stepping stone towards their Olympic or Paralympic dream.

“It used to be a case of ‘when we get to 2012’, but now it’s more a case of ‘when we get to this stadium’. Aviva have been the number one sponsor of athletics since 1999 so just it’s amazing to see first-hand, sat with the UKA coaches, how our support is helping our athletes secure their place at this amazing event.”