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Olympic preparations could be an arrow in the heart of Archers

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 July 2012

Newham Archer Jaspreet Sagoo won gold for the borough at the London Youth Games

Newham Archer Jaspreet Sagoo won gold for the borough at the London Youth Games

Archant

Newham Archers, who boast London Youth Games gold medallist Jaspreet Sagoo among their members, face being locked out of the school over the summer under strict instructions from LOCOG, who will take occupation from Friday (July 13) for the duration of the Games.

Olympic bronze medallist Sarah Stevenson, together with her British taekwondo counterparts, will descend on Langdon School in East Ham later this month for use of the venue as their training base for the duration of London 2012 – but not everyone in Newham is eagerly anticipating their arrival.

Newham Archers, who boast London Youth Games gold medallist Jaspreet Sagoo among their members, face being locked out of the school over the summer under strict instructions from LOCOG, who will take occupation from Friday (July 13) for the duration of the Games.

Consequently, Archers chairman Alan Johnson has been forced to cancel the club’s entire summer training programme – which helps make up a large chunk of their annual income – and he has been irked by the short notice with which he was informed.

The confusion arose after Langdon School interim business manager Husna Haque informed those that would be affected by e-mail in May, but an error in the address the school had on file for Johnson meant the club chairman was only made aware of the news by a third party last week.

However, with the issue of how the local community will benefit from the Olympics a hot topic, Haque is keen to find a solution and was set for 11th hour talks with Johnson after the Recorder brought the two parties together this week.

Haque confirmed: “I would be happy to speak to Mr Johnson and find a workable solution.

“We have a unique opportunity to play our part in the Olympics and as a sports college that is one we could not pass up.

“We are under instruction from LOCOG to secure areas of the school, including the sports hall where much of Mr Johnson’s equipment is stored.

“However, there may be areas of the school which are still accessible to meet the needs of Newham Archers.”

Archers, first established in 1964, have been based in Sussex Road for the past five years and charge small fees to their members in order to encourage greater participation in the sport.

Consequently the summer schemes help subsidise the winter costs and the potential loss of income in the next two months could be a big blow.

Sagoo is one of Archers’ success stories, but is set to move to a club in Redbridge after Johnson admitted: “She has simply outgrown us.”

He added: “We can’t be precious about this, Jaspreet has incredible potential.

“If she keeps progressing and, dare I say it, gets to an Olympics, I will be so proud to know she started with us.”


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