London 2012: Inspiring a generation in Newham

Stratford’s Olympic Games have brought REAL pride in our borough

Inspiring a generation…and giving us pride in our borough. That’s what the first few days of the 2012 Olympic Games have brought us.

We have welcomed the world this week in a piece of history we will never witness again.

The opening ceremony of the Games was brilliant and bonkers in so many ways.

Lord Seb Coe’s welcoming remarks sincere, honest and moving. He has never been so proud to be British, he said. And over 300,000 of us in Newham have never been so proud of our borough.

From the youngsters and actors starring in the show to those volunteers who are making all the Games possible, there is a collective honour in achieving something so special.

To the local athletes representing their country to officials like referee Mic Basi, who had the honour of making the judge’s pledge, we are so proud of you.

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Forget the traffic jams and other travel problems, embrace the good London 2012 is bright.

Our Mayor hailed the stunning opening ceremony. Sir Robin Wales and Newham Council Chief Executive Kim Bromley-Derry attended the spectacular event . And reflecting on the start of the greatest sporting show on earth - two thirds of which is taking place in Newham - Sir Robin said: ‘The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games means that we can truly say the eyes of the world are on Stratford, Newham and London.’

We tell you the story so far in this week’s paper in 18 pages of special reports on news and in sport.

Thousands of Newham residents flocked to Stratford Park and Central Park to watch live action on giant screens in Stratford Park and Central Park.

Sir Robin added: ‘We are having one hell of a Games party. We promised Newham would be a part of the Games and we are delivering on it in style! More than 1,000 residents have been involved in the Opening Ceremony including 230 children from seven schools.

‘Something I found incredible was that in the middle of organising the ceremony, director Danny Boyle took time out from his schedule to spend time with some of our children. It was an act of generosity that was much appreciated.

‘We have bought 500 Olympic and Paralympic tickets for residents, ranging from the highest demand Opening Ceremony tickets to day passes for the Olympic Park. They have been paid for using funds received for the use of Newham venues as Games time training venues, so there is no cost to the taxpayer.

‘In addition, we secured an exclusive offer of 2,700 discounted Olympic Park day pass tickets for our residents as well as 14,000 free tickets for the events that tested the Games venues.

‘We expect crowds of Newham residents at our live sites in Stratford and East Ham which will be open throughout the Games. Through our Let’s Get the Party Started campaign we are helping residents to put on their own Games celebrations. Thousands have and are staging street parties, talent shows, exhibitions and more. They are bringing people together and building relationships.

“We have also used the Games to inspire people into sport. We have invested in improved local sporting facilities from multi-use games areas to parks, and increased provision of free and low-cost sports and activity opportunities including free swims, neighbourhood sports and summer holiday schemes.’

And now let’s all hope our only truly golden girl can make us even prouder.

Christine Ohuruogu starts her defence of her Olympic Crown on Friday with the final on Sunday. Please God this time next week we will have happy news to report.

Come on Christine!