Ely can benefit from Olympics

PUBLISHED: 14:30 16 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:20 04 May 2010

A DRIVE aimed at fostering the region s sporting talent is being set up by Ely mayor Bryant Watson - and the Ely Standard is backing it all the way. The Mayor of Ely s Olympic Initiative has been set up to encourage, co-ordinate and promote ideas, project

A DRIVE aimed at fostering the region's sporting talent is being set up by Ely mayor Bryant Watson - and the Ely Standard is backing it all the way.

The Mayor of Ely's Olympic Initiative has been set up to encourage, co-ordinate and promote ideas, projects and events which help bring success to the district - both in a sporting and commercial sense.

"It's been set up as an open forum and anyone with any sort of Olympic aspirations for the city and its sportsmen and women is invited to contribute," said Cllr Watson. Ely is only one hour away from the main Olympic site in East London.

The Ely Standard is proud of the achievements of its sportspeople - Goldie Sayers competed at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and is currently taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

The same can be said of Mildenhall cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who last year won matched sprint gold at the World Championships in California.

On the bowls green, Ellen Falkner is looking to add to the fours gold she won at the Commonwealths in Manchester four years ago in Melbourne, while Greg Harlow has just been confirmed as world number one.

These are some examples of true sporting success stories, but the Ely Standard believes that the Mayor's initiative can help lay the foundations for the future.

"My feeling with Ely is that we've been a reserved city for many years and now we are breaking out. This city will be more vibrant than it's ever been - don't let us be followers, let others follow us."

Already, Isle of Ely Rowing Club has arranged for an organisation called World Class Start to use its facilities on the river to develop young rowing talent. The Cambridge crews use the River Nene annually to warm up for the Boat Race.

More details of this and other projects will be available at the Boat Race Bash on April 2.

At the same time, Cllr Ron Bradney, owner of the Atrium Club, is looking at the possibility of training and practice facilities in and around Ely for sports such as shooting.

The Rotary Club is also organising an event at the Paradise Centre, with involvement from local primary school children and Goldie Sayers when she returns from Melbourne.

Cllr Watson is hoping that the London Games will yield more commercial spin-offs. "Ely and the surrounding area has plenty of attractions for both competitors and visitors alike and it is possible that the Olympics could act as a catalyst for the building of another, larger hotel in the city to accommodate an influx of visitors."

n The Mayor is inviting anyone interested to a public meeting at the city council offices in Market Street on Tuesday, April 4 at 7.30pm.

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