OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND VISIT QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK DURING OPENING MONTH – PARALYMPIANS, DISABILITY ART AND STREET THEATRE SET TO CONTINUE TO PACK THE PARK OVER THE COMING WEEKS
Since the first phase of opening to the public a month ago, over one hundred thousand people have visited the north part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and enjoyed the beautiful parklands, Tumbling Bay playground and Timber Lodge community centre, which has held a variety of events ranging from poetry reading to zumba classes since opening on 27 July.
Key highlights have included the Tumbling Bay playground that has been a big hit with children and the Unity Kitchen Cafe which is building a strong morning coffee following at Timber Lodge. People are also starting to discover their own favourite spots on the Park to relax and take in the stunning views of the Stadium, ArcelorMittal Orbit, Velodrome and other iconic 2012 venues.
The Copper Box Arena – the first 2012 venue to reopen to the public - has had more than 26,500 visitors through its door since it opened on 27 July. It has hosted two packed out basketball matches and thousands of visitors have tried their hand at sports ranging from badminton and wheelchair basketball to indoor canoeing as well as take a look at the gym and other community facilities available.
With an exciting and varied line up of events over the next few months – including street theatre, National Paralympic Day, boxing title bouts and the first league match of the arena’s resident basketball team the London Lions – crowds look set to continue to flock to the Park and Copper Box Arena ahead of the Park’s full opening in spring 2014.
Almost 700,000 people have now attended Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s debut summer series of events with thousands more set to enjoy National Paralympic Day on 7 September – a free celebration of disability sports and arts taking place in the north of the Park. This will be a fitting finale to a fantastic summer of events that has seen global stars like Justin Timberlake and Bruce Springsteen as well as children’s favourites like Peppa Pig and Rastamouse perform in the Park and the return of 2012 heroes like Laura Trott, Mo Farah, Richard Whitehead and Usain Bolt.
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:
“With wheelchair basketball at the Copper Box Arena, zumba classes at Timber Lodge, poetry reading in Tumbling Bay and beautiful and peaceful parklands Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park really does has something for everyone. It is fantastic that so many people have visited the Park in its first month of opening and seen for themselves what it has to offer. With Paralympians like Aled Davies, disability art, street theatre and top sporting action coming up this looks set to continue over the coming months. We are on track to deliver an amazing destination and these activities are just a taster of what’s to come when the Park opens fully in the spring.”
Tony Wallace, Head of Olympic Venues at GLL, said:
“The launch of the Copper Box Arena has exceeded our expectations in every way. To be able to host international sporting events in our opening few weeks has been phenomenal and our calendar is now filling up. But the Copper Box Arena is also a community leisure centre and it has been equally rewarding to see the enjoyment that local people of all ages have had when using our gym, exercise classes and sports courts. The feedback we have received has been fantastic as more and more Londoners see for themselves the top class facilities that are available to them.”
Denise Largin, Chief Executive of the Camden Society which runs Unity Kitchen cafe at Timber Lodge, said:
“Two exciting young bands, The AutistiX from North London and Motxila 21 from Pamplona in Spain’s Basque Country, will be helping us see out the summer at 7.30pm on 31 August. Come along and get a drink and a hot dog for your £5 entry. We also have weekly yoga and zumba classes, among a range of community events lined up for the autumn. Pay us a visit. You can also pick up some fabulous food for all ages, including healthy breakfasts, chilled sandwiches and salads, hot lunches and sweet treats, as well as snacks and drinks.”