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  • 26 September 2013 00:00
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World's first Compact Athletics Facility launched by sprint star Ohuruogu

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Sprint star Christine Ohuruogu, the reigning women’s 400 metre world champion, has launched the first ever Compact Athletics Facility which is designed to allow track and field equipment to be built in places where space is limited. 

The ground-breaking new facility was launched at Stoke Newington School in London where it will give both school children and the local community more opportunities to take part in athletics.

Ohuruogu, who is a double Olympic medallist and five-time world championship medallist, grew up near the new facility and says she hopes to see future athletics stars in the area uncovered on the Stoke Newington track.

"It’s an absolute pleasure to be here to open a brand new type of athletics facility, giving thousands of local kids a chance to take part in the sport that has done so much for me,” she said.

"It’s great to see our sport’s governing bodies really taking the legacy of London 2012 seriously and getting creative with ways to get athletics into the inner-city. 

"It’s crazy to think that Hackney did not have its own athletics track until now and the Compact Facility is a really good solution in a busy area with a lot of young stars waiting to be uncovered.”

The Compact Athletics Facility is the brainchild of England Athletics while Sport England provided the development and technical support as well as the commissioning architects to make it a reality. 

It includes a sprint straight, a long jump straight and pit, a high jump area, a throws area and a running trail around the school. 

Sport England is now working with England Athletics and UK Athletics on plans for further Compact Athletics Facilities to help increase access to athletics in cities and rural areas up and down the country.

"This facility will contribute hugely as a blueprint for other areas to follow,” said England Athletics Chief Executive Chris Jones. 

"We are excited by the opportunities this development will bring as we strive to encourage more young people and adults to take part in our wonderful sport.”

The concept has been designed with community engagement in mind and is part of their successful Run! Project that looks to get more people playing sport.   
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