His Excellency, Mr Koji Tsuruoka, visited Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park as part of a two-day fact-finding experience ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Presentations were provided by Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) Director, Professor Steve Haake, President and CEO of Toshiba Medical System Europe, Mark Holmshaw and former Sports Minister and Sheffield Central MP, Richard Caborn.
Mr Tsuruoka was then given a tour of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, including the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS) and the University Technical College (UTC)
Richard Caborn said: “It’s a great privilege to have the Japanese Ambassador visit Sheffield.
“Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is a shining example of how the public and private sector, can work collaboratively to make a real difference, and we are proud to share our knowledge, experience and vision with the Ambassador as Japan prepares for its 2020 Games in Tokyo.”
Sheffield Hallam University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Husbands, said: “Through the AWRC, Sheffield Hallam will be leading work which has the potential to transform the nation’s well-being. It is this collaboration with our partners across the city and the private sector that will revolutionise healthcare, physical activity and sport for the UK and I am extremely proud to be able to showcase our vision to the Japanese Ambassador.”
The Ambassador was later joined by British Olympic Association (BOA) Chief Executive, Bill Sweeney, Leader of Sheffield City Council, Julie Dore and other high-profile guests for an evening meal at Cutlers’ Hall.
Bill Sweeney said: “The health of the nation and the role of sport in a modern society are inextricably linked and it is heartening to see the development of projects such as Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, where agencies are working in tandem to provide innovative and fresh solutions to societal problems such as obesity, nutrition and mental welfare. We are keen supporters of the project and hope it continues to develop successfully.”
Mr Tsuruoka said: “My visit to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has been eye-opening – I’ve never seen a project like this before, so it has been a privilege to see exactly what is taking place here to keep the Olympic legacy alive.
“The Olympic Games are a very exciting event for all involved, but it is not over when the closing ceremony finishes, it’s what happens from there that I think is important. London and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park are providing the model for us to keep the legacy going following the Tokyo 2020 Games.”
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has also played host to visits from delegates representing Kawasaki City, the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chinese Olympic Committee, the China Institute of Sport Science and the Vereniging Sport en Gemeenten (VSG).
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is fast developing in the east end of Sheffield and contains a collection of health, sport and education facilities. The project is a joint venture between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield City Council.
Their aim is to deliver improvements in public health as a tangible legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is emerging as an internationally recognised focal point for innovation in health and wellbeing research and learning.
New buildings on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park include Oasis Academy Don Valley, a school for 1,200 two to 16-year-olds, the city’s second University Technical College (UTC) specialising in health sciences, sport science and computing for up to 600 13 to 19-year-olds, and a 3G pitch that will allow Sheffield Eagles Rugby League Club to return to its home city and will also be used by Sheffield United Ladies FC, Oasis Academy, UTC and the local community.
In February 2018, construction work will start on Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and proposals have been announced for two world class Research and Innovation Centres in healthcare planned for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, The Centre for Child Health Technology and The Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Research and Innovation Centre.
Existing facilities within the Park include the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS), which has recently won the Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Award for Business Tourism, and iceSheffield.
For more information, visit www.olympiclegacypark.co.uk, follow @OLPSheffield on Twitter, search for Olympic Legacy Park on Facebook or connect with Legacy Park Ltd on Linkedin.