Olympic legacy at athletics track
A CASH handout to the value of £165,000 has been allocated to replace Banbury’s main running track in a bid to create an Olympic legacy across the district.
At its first executive meeting of the year, Cherwell district councillors agreed to establish an Olympic Legacy Fund to support increased participation in the most popular sports.
Part of the fund will be used to replace the ageing athletics track at North Oxfordshire Academy in Banbury, which is managed by the council.
The council’s deputy leader, Cllr George Reynolds, said: “We are proposing to establish a medium term Olympic Legacy Fund which will drag together all our capital schemes into one fund so we can maximise the spend on the facilities that are being renovated, renewed and looked after.
“Everything has a natural life and there is a need to modernise a lot of out facilities in order to enable the expected rush that some sports are receiving following the Olympics.
“It will also enable clubs to focus on the younger people and encourage those that are less able to take part in sports, especially those that might have been encouraged by the Paralympics.”
The council has allocated an estimated £165,000 to replace the track, which is now 16 years-old and at its maximum life expectancy.
The decision has been welcomed by Geoff Smith, chairman of the Banbury Harriers Running Club which trains at the track every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7pm.
He said: “The track is still in pretty good condition because the council has kept it very well. There have been bits of vandalism over the years which have been patched up but to get it completely refurbished will be brilliant.”
Mr Smith also praised the creation of an Olmypic Legacy Fund, adding: “We have noticed a surge in the amount of people interested in the club, especially in young people.”
Other projects covered by the fund are the replacement of Kidlington’s artificial sports pitch and the completion of the South West Bicester Sports Village.
The council has focused its efforts on providing facilities for the most popular sports including athletics, football, hockey and tennis.
Echoing the views of his colleagues at the executive meeting, Kidlington councillor Tim Emptage said: “Like the rest of the nation we all enjoyed and were gripped by the Olympics and Paralympics and it’s fantastic if we can have some form of Olympic Legacy, particularly for our young people. I think this Olympic Legacy Fund is an excellent idea and I fully support it.”
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Weather for Banbury
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West