August 31 2014 Latest news:
Sophie Morton, Reporter
Friday, April 4, 2014
Prince Harry and Boris Johnson met some of the many people who will benefit from the opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park today.
The pair took a tour of the redeveloped park this morning ahead of tomorrow’s official public opening.
On arriving at the Aquatics Centre, they were introduced to two former servicemen who would be competing at the park in September’s Invictus Games.
Former games maker Sarah-Jane O’Brien, 31, was one of the park volunteers who met Prince Harry.
She said: “He was asking about the football club that was going there and saying he was an Arsenal fan.”
Members of Bikeworks, an all-inclusive charity which uses the park, demonstrated their skills to the prince and the Mayor of London before they tried out their own cycling skills alongside Terry Sullivan, 29.
His mother Maureen explained that Terry had been left brain-damaged following a cycling accident aged six but still loved bikes, and that Bikeworks had given him confidence.
The park, which will be open 24 hours a day, has new paths and play areas designed by architect James Corner.
Pupils from three local primary schools tested out a giant swing and rope bridge and even managed to convince their special guests to have a go as well.
While most Newham residents will not get to fully experience the park until tomorrow, those who have seen it already have positive reviews.
Royal Docks resident Paul Lazarus, 58, was thrilled with how the park turned out.
He said: “It’s amazing that we’ve got this facility on our doorstep and it’s come a long way in a short amount of time.”