The wide contribution that Sheffield made to the success of the London 2012 Games, and the unique Olympic legacy being delivered in the city has been celebrated at a special event.
Around 300 guests, including sports stars of the past and present, attended the celebratory reception at the English Institute of Sport (EISS) on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, which was compered by sports commentator Paul Walker.
Virtual guests also included Lord Seb Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) who headed the successful London 2012 Olympic bid working closely with former Sports Minister Richard Caborn.
Lord Coe praised the way Sheffield accepted the challenge after London 2012 to create a genuine legacy. “You only need to look at what has been achieved at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, which stands as a beacon to that legacy, to see how this city rose to the challenge. It is a fantastic achievement in a fantastic city.”
The event replaced a planned Olympic Legacy in Action gala dinner on 9 September, which was cancelled as a mark of respect following the death of the Queen.
Legacy Park Ltd Chair Richard Caborn spoke of the pivotal role the late Monarch played in the successful Olympic bid and said: “After the closing ceremony of the Paralympics on 9 September 2012, Sheffield picked up the baton to become the world’s only Olympic legacy site outside a host city anywhere in the world.
“As well as being home to a host of top athletes and professional sportsmen and women – if Sheffield was a country we would have finished 14th at the 2012 Games – a strong public-private sector partnership has delivered the first £100m development phase at the Park which has created an unrivalled cluster of life sciences assets.
Currently under construction, Park Community Arena basketball arena is due to open in Autumn 2023. This facility is being developed by Canon Medical Systems and will be a carbon-neutral build community arena with multi purpose sports facility and integrated Medical Diagnostic Centre.
Also in 2023, construction will commence on the National Centre for Child Health Technology, which has been cited by industry partners as a global first and will develop the most advanced therapies in the world through digital and technology development for children and young people.
Richard continued “We have now embarked on the next £200m-plus development phase which will ensure a real sporting, health, economic, education and skills legacy for generations to come.”
Scarborough Group International (SGI) is the development partner for the Park and will shortly unveil its Masterplan for the next development phase.
Ahead of the reception, former England footballer Brian Deane helped launch a new Active Space on the Park featuring outdoor exercise equipment funded by Westfield Health Charitable Trust.
Westfield Health Chief Executive David Capper said: “For me, what makes Sheffield so special is that it has a small-city sense of community combined with a big-city sense of ambition. Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and this Active Space within it are the perfect example of both that community and ambition.
“The Park is a real team effort. From NHS Trusts and local hospitals that do such incredible work, to Sheffield Hallam University and local businesses like us, to the education establishments and community groups, this Active Space and park it’s in represent a community commitment to a healthier city that’s fit for the challenges of the future.”