Minister backs Ipswich

IPSWICH'S bid for a share of the Olympic cake in 2012 has got enthusiastic backing from sports minister Richard Caborn.The minister met civic and sporting leaders in the town during a tour of the Eastern region to promote the area's attractions in the run-up to the Olympics.

IPSWICH'S bid for a share of the Olympic cake in 2012 has got enthusiastic backing from sports minister Richard Caborn.

The minister met civic and sporting leaders in the town during a tour of the Eastern region to promote the area's attractions in the run-up to the Olympics.

And he felt the area had much to offer sports teams and spectators alike.

He said: “The Olympic bid gives the regions of Britain a great opportunity, as well as London itself. We've set up a committee under the chairmanship of Charles Allen - boss of ITV - to enable the regions of England, as well as Scotland, and Wales to share in the Olympics.

“The Eastern region, and this area in particular, is very well placed to benefit from the games because it is so near to London.”

Mr Caborn said there would be a need for high-quality sports facilities as teams arrive in the country weeks, or even months, before the games started.

Most Read

“You will find that countries which have a strong gymnastics team will look for top-class gymnastics facilities while teams that are strong on athletics, like the Kenyans, will be looking for a good running track.

“It will be a great opportunity for places like Ipswich which have facilities - and have facilities planned - to really get a part of the action.”

But it wasn't just sporting facilities in Ipswich and Suffolk that could benefit, according to Mr Caborn.

“There are also the other spin-offs like tourism - the area is ideally placed for people who come to Britain to see the games.

“And there will be 70,000 volunteers needed during the games themselves - and many of them will come from the regions, of which East Anglia will be in a prime position.

“Overall, the games should be a fantastic boost to the whole country and this area has a great opportunity,” he said.

He endorsed the marketing of the area under the banner Team Ipswich which is backed by The Evening Star and Ipswich Council.

“This is a tremendous way of getting the area's benefits across to the wider community - and with a sporting ambassador like Karen Pickering it should be very successful,” Mr Caborn said.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter