RUN! & Sportshall lead the way at the Copper Box!
The ‘Copper Box’ (Olympic Handball Arena) was the venue for the One Movement Event. The multi sports festival was put together via a working partnership from six host London boroughs, East London Business Alliance (ELBA) and the London Legacy Development Corporation. This was the first of a series of ‘one Movement festivals of sport’ in 2012 with the events financially supported by The National Lottery. The sole aim is to reach over 11,000 young people living in and around the area of the Olympic venues. Each event would offer; fun, free, mass participation and multi sport festivals to Londoners. Saturday’s event saw 1,000 young people descend on the venue that will become a Multi-Use Arena after the Olympic Games. It was finished in May 2011 and has been named the ‘Copper Box’ due to its 3,000sq m of external copper cladding all of which is recycled to give it a distinctive appearance that will develop a rich natural colour as it ages. It’s quite striking to a spectator as you enter directly on to the concourse level that encircles the building. This concourse level is fully glazed, enabling the venue to benefit from the natural light. It’s clear to see from within the venue how it will offer a lasting legacy with the vibrant and multi-coloured interior and retractable seating to create a flexible space.
The six host London boroughs; Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, had a choice of sports to try out: Handball, Dance, Judo, Table Tennis, Athletics (RUN! & Sportshall), Cycling, Rowing, New Age Kurling, Resistance Sliding and Tennis. The Athletics corner was made up of a London super team which saw the RUN! Project team members and Sportshall London region join to offer a full fun athletics experience. Within the first hour of the doors opening to the public the RUN! Portable track was busy with activity and Graeme Allan (Sportshall London) rapidly inputting results and data from the children finishing their activities. It was clear to see from the other sporting bodies in attendance that the ‘Athletics’ area was by far the most used with streams of children queuing to get started on the activities. The demand didn’t let up and the RUN! and Sportshall team worked tirelessly all day to deliver an experience to the sport while offering a glimpse of what can be gained from Sportshall and local athletics. Olympic stars Donna Fraser and Tony Jarrett joined the team, helping out with the participants. The three time world Silver medallist Tony Jarrett, who now coaches Newham sprint hurdler Gianni Frankis, put in a shift with technical advice and supportive chats with the athletes while the Sydney Olympic 400 meter finalist Donna Fraser couldn’t resists having a go at the events on offer rolling her sleeves up and picking up a medicine ball to throw. Both former greats made mention to their support of these early pre the Olympic Games events and expressed the importance of the young athletes and schools links with clubs.
The RUN! Team had Project manager Rhian Horlock on site to help out with the running of the event. When asked how she thought it went, the reply was: "It is fantastic that Run! Was involved in the first ever multi sports event in the Copper Box multi sport arena, as part of the project we are working with other NGBs to get participants into the sport, these types of events reflect how effective this can be. I would like to express my gratitude to the volunteers who worked tirelessly on the day as we were inundated with participants and to Graeme Allan from Sportshall who provided the equipment and scoring system to take participants through the UK Academy Awards System."
Picture from left to right: Rhian Horlock (RUN! Project manager), Coral Nourrice (Run! Activator Newham) and Olympic athlete Donna Fraser in front of a busy athletics area at the One Movement Event, Copper Box - Olympic Park.Follow @londonathletics