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New eara for Newham and the Beagles as they move into Stratford track

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 October 2017

Asha Philip and Rabah Yousif with youngsters from the Bobby Moore Academy

Asha Philip and Rabah Yousif with youngsters from the Bobby Moore Academy

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Beagles Asha Philip and Rabah Yousif are there for track opening

The official ribbon cutting at the new stadiumThe official ribbon cutting at the new stadium

When the Olympic Stadium was built in Stratford, it came with a promise that Newham & Essex Beagles would be able to use the warm-up track in the future.

And that day came last Wednesday when the new London Marathon Community Track was opened in a special ceremony.

A host of dignitaries were there for the opening which included the naming of the stand after London Marathon founders Chris Brasher and John Disley.

It is has been five years since the Olympics and much has changed since those days with West Ham United making the stadium their home, so is it a worthwhile move for the Beagles.

Beagles George Choat, Asha Philip, Tony Shiret, Rabah Yousif and Wendy Tydeman of BasildonBeagles George Choat, Asha Philip, Tony Shiret, Rabah Yousif and Wendy Tydeman of Basildon

Club patron Tony Shiret certainly thinks so: “The track itself is superb and it is so much easier for our athletes to get to,” he said. “It will be a new part of Newham for us to tap into and the facilities are excellent.”

Beagles athletes Asha Philip and Rabah Yousif were both in attendance, while Beagles coach George Choat put a 20-strong group of year seven athletes from the nearby Bobby Moore Academy through their paces.

“It is different to the Terence McMillan Stadium, but hopefully in the future it will be better,” said Tony. “We will still be able to use the indoor facilities there for the next year.”

But it is not all plain sailing for the Beagles as Shiret admits.

“It only has six lanes which means that we will not be able to have British League matches there,” he said. “We haven’t had one since 2011 and we will be able to have other matches there.”

There were a number of speeches at the ceremony with Philip saying. “I warmed up here ahead of winning my silver medal and it’s great it is now being opened up for kids and my fellow Beagles to use.

“Having such an amazing new facility next to the Stadium that hosted the Olympics, Paralympics and World Championships is really exciting.”

Shiret added: “We have a proud history in athletics and have seen some of the greats compete for our club including Sir Mo Farah, Daley Thompson and now Asha Philip and Rabah Yousif.

“This fabulous new facility will help us bring on the next World and Olympic champions and to serve the families of Newham.”

Change is never easy and there may well be some teething problems along the way, but this could mean a great new era for Newham and the Beagles.

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