Sport /Legacies from Olympics

Plenary on 2003-10-15
Session date: 
October 15, 2003
Question By: 
Noel Lynch
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
Barbara Cassani (Chair of the Olympic Bid Company)


How will you ensure that training facilities, which have the possibility to be distributed throughout London, will contribute to improved take-up of sport in communities? .


Answer for Sport /Legacies from Olympics

Answer for Sport /Legacies from Olympics

Answered By: 
Barbara Cassani (Chair of the Olympic Bid Company)

Training facilities have a number of different components. The first is to understand what it is that is required from us as a bid. The 28 sporting federations that we work with have quite clear guidance as to what they expect from an Olympic bid. So we are working with all of them: from fencing to athletics, to equestrianism; all of them have a very clear idea as to what they want to achieve with the training facilities.

The first step for us was to understand what is required. We are also looking at what has been achieved at other Games. There has been a considerable movement in the provision of training facilities. These are training facilities that the athletes use for warming up just before and during the competition, or if they arrive a few days before the competition. Athens has changed the Games quite considerably by building a very big facility adjacent to the actual Olympic Village. So gone are the times when you could ask the athletes to travel a couple of hours to get to their training facilities. So we will be under a lot of pressure to put the facilities near to where the athletes will live.

We are looking at it in terms of proximity to the Olympic Village. Our aim is that the Olympic Village will be in the Lower Lea Valley. So our first job has been to look at the facilities that are within striking distance of the Lower Lea Valley. We have been talking to aquatic centres, people who have track and field facilities, and people who have halls et cetera. Our aim will be to use the facilities that are there to start with, and that process has already begun.

But we will also need more facilities than are already there. For example, there will need to be a number of pools. If I were to say what is London lacking the most of, it would be competition-size 50-metre pools. But the good news is that the technology has developed in such a way that there are now temporary drop-in pools that have been used very successfully. .