11th October 2010

Uka Back West Ham And Newham

11 October 2010

UKA today confirmed its formal support for West Ham and Newham Council in their joint bid to take over the Olympic Stadium in legacy mode.

UKA, the governing body for the number one Olympic and Paralympic sport, has worked closely with a number of the bidding parties, but has taken the decision to align with the West Ham proposal as the sport’s preferred bidders.

UKA Chairman Ed Warner said: “What has impressed me so much about the joint bid from West Ham and Newham is their clear commitment to the spirit of the Olympic legacy and not just athletics at the elite end, but with the retention of the community track, our future champions and club runners too.

“It was clear from the start that only a partnership approach would bring to life the vision Seb Coe had when he committed to an athletics legacy in 2005 and we believe the collaboration of West Ham, Newham and UKA gives the strongest opportunity for a vibrant sporting legacy that will go well beyond 2012.

“The team at West Ham have also been keen to support our bid to host the World Athletics Championships in 2015 at the stadium, fully understanding that a significant international event will play a major part in realising their ambition of a British sporting hub.”

West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady said: “This is fantastic news. We believe ours is the only bid that can deliver London’s legacy commitment to the International Olympic Committee. UKA’s endorsement is a powerful and highly-valued testament of that.

“Our plan is not just to have a new stadium for West Ham but a real sporting centre for London and the rest of the country. We want to create a home of sport, featuring two of the greatest sports, football and athletics, side by side where they can grow and flourish together both in terms of spectatorship and participation at every level. UKA have been great in helping us develop that vision over the past eight months and, together with Newham Council, we are ideally placed to make our dream a reality.

“We now hope to move on and secure the stadium and enable world-class athletics to continue in east London beyond the Olympic Games – hopefully including the IAAF World Championships in 2015.”

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: “We are delighted UKA are backing our bid. It is important we create a vibrant, diverse, well used stadium that brings maximum public benefit, especially for local people. That means offering an array of sports all year round and hopefully will include prestigious events like the 2015 World Athletics Championships and the 2018 football World Cup.

“A busy stadium will in turn open up a whole raft of opportunities and benefits for the local community for decades to come and that is the legacy we in Newham and the East End want from the Olympics.”