15 Aug 2012
Essex County Council were proud hosts of the Olympic Mountain Bike events as 40,000 thousand spectators watched the world’s best female and male riders compete for Gold at The Salvation Army’s Hadleigh Farm in South Essex.
The events were also broadcast live on BBC with millions more turning in around the world on the closing weekend of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Those that were lucky enough to get tickets, basked in the sunshine as they witnessed Julie Bresset take the Gold for France in the women’s race on Saturday and Jaroslav Kulhavy of The Czech Republic win the men’s race on Sunday.
Essex County Councillor Stephen Castle, Essex Cabinet Member for Education, Life Long Learning and the 2012 Games is overjoyed at the public response: “All of the planning and preparation that’s gone into these events for the London 2012 Games has really paid off this weekend. We’ve seen two thrilling races take place on a world class course and I am extremely pleased that it will soon be open for use and perhaps inspire our young people to go on to greatness at future games.”
Women’s race: Gold: Julie Bresset (France)
Silver: Sabine Spitz (Germany)
Bronze: George Gould (USA)
Men’s race: Gold: Jaroslav Kulhavy (Czech Republic)
Silver: Nino Schurter (Switzerland)
Bronze: Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy)
After recently receiving planning permission from Castle Point Borough Council, Essex County Council will now focus efforts on delivering a legacy from the Olympic venue.The Hadleigh Farm and Country Park Olympic Legacy Project will see the Olympic Mountain Bike course being retained and adapted for use by the public, as well Hadleigh Country Park being expanded and enhanced, providing opportunities for people to more fully access, enjoy and appreciate the area’s natural historic environment. The plans also include a Visitors Centre, Café, bike hire shop and network of multi user walking and cycling tracks.
Now the British Cycling Youth inter-regional mountain bike championships for riders under the age of 16 will be held on the site in October. Some adjustments to the course will be made before the event.
Ongoing works at the site to remove the temporary infrastructure from the London 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike events and will be completed later in the year. Adaptions to make the course suitable for public access will begin in 2013. For those interested in details of when the legacy adaptations will be completed please register your contact details by emailing London2012@essex.gov.uk to be kept informed.
Essex County Council are planning to provide opportunities for experienced riders of a suitable standard who are interested in riding the course the chance to join guided rides before the adaptations are completed. For experienced mountain bikers who have completed “black” grade trails at other UK trail centres or others with other appropriate coaching or skills qualifications who are interested they should email firstname.lastname@example.org providing details of their experience level and weather they are interested as a) a Group or b) an individual.
On Sunday 12 August Councillor Castle also welcomed the announcement made by David Cameron that £1.5 billion of additional funding will be provided to fund all levels of sport in the UK – from increasing competitive sports in schools to funding prospective Olympic and Paralympic athletes for Rio 2016.
Councillor Castle added: “I welcome the promise of additional funding as it will really make a difference to current and future athletes up and down the country. Not only will it enable our elite sportsmen and women to realise their potential, it will inspire our young children as they witness sporting success and learn essential life skills from engaging in competitive sports.”
Active Essex was launched earlier this year as the County Sports Partnership and lead strategic body for sport and physical activity in Greater Essex. Through partnerships with local community sport networks, coaching and events such as the Essex Sport Awards, Active Essex aims to increase participation in sport and physical activity and healthy and active lifestyles for the residents of Essex. Read more about the Active Essex>>