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  • 01 August 2013 00:00
  • in Olympics
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  • Last Modified: 02 August 2013 06:04
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Olympic Stadium to be new home of grassroots athletics for over 50 years

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The iconic Olympic Stadium in Stratford is set to be the new home of grass roots athletics in the UK for the next 50 years and beyond following a historic deal signed between venue owners E20 Stadium and UK Athletics.

The agreement, which starts from 2016 when the Olympic Stadium will be fully operational following its legacy transformation, will see the venue become the new national centre for athletics where it will host regional and national age group championships as well as elite international events.
Although Premiership outfit West Ham United will be the main anchor tenant during the football season, UK Athletics will have use of the Olympic Stadium from the last Friday in June to the end of July each year under a 50 year deal.

The main annual athletics event at the Olympic Stadium will be the London Diamond League meetings, where the likes of Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis are expected to compete.
In addition, in 2017, the stadium will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships and IPC Athletics World Championships – the first time these prestigious global events have been staged in the same venue in the same year.

"Twelve months on from the glittering opening ceremony of the London Olympics, work to deliver a golden sporting legacy is firmly on track,” said the Mayor of London and Legacy Company chairman Boris Johnson. 

"It has always been a key aim to ensure the world class athletics facilities in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park nurture our next generation of sporting heroes especially among our talented local youngsters from east London.

"This deal guarantees just that for 50 years – it is historic and hugely significant.”

The agreement will also see a new permanent community track built adjacent to the Olympic Stadium where it will provide year-round training facilities for use by local residents, local athletes and sports clubs.
"We look forward to staging great events here in the years up to and beyond 2017 and we aim to celebrate the anniversary of the Games at this venue in many more years to come providing a centerpiece occasion that really befits the legacy of an Olympic Stadium,” added UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos.
As part of its multi-use legacy commitment, the Olympic Stadium will also host five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup in addition to athletics and football from 2016 while it will also be used for other sporting, cultural and community events.

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