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Southwark appoints former world champion cyclist as new Olympic chief

Published Thursday, 02 December 2010

Two million pound legacy fund is announced as Team Southwark gears up for 2012 Olympics.

The only London borough to have a 1948 Olympics Games finals venue still in active use has unveiled its new Olympic chief this week, 2 December.  

Olympian and former cycling world champion Tony Doyle MBE is linking up with the leader of Southwark Council and shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell MP to form the borough's very own 'Team Southwark'.  

They'll be tasked with making sure residents and visitors to the borough - as little as five stops on the tube from Stratford - have the complete London 2012 experience.    

As well as competing at the highest level of his sport Tony Doyle was also awarded an MBE in 1991 for his services to cycling. His role will be to provide an independent voice on the council's new Olympic Delivery Board.  

He said: "Southwark is in a really enviable position when it comes to the Games, with a location that will attract unprecedented numbers to the borough, and now with shadow Olympics minister Tessa Jowell on board. I'm convinced these Games could be among the best attended in living memory and I will make sure we make the most of this amazing opportunity."  

The new Olympic Delivery Board was unveiled on the 2 December, at the same time as the council pledged to create a £2m 'legacy fund' , subject to final approval next year, which will lead to investment in sport and cultural projects across the borough.  

That will include engaging young people, promoting healthy lifestyles, encouraging cultural projects, and volunteering.  

This work will be alongside that of the council's Olympic Capital Legacy Group. This group, which includes the leader of the council Peter John and former Olympics minister and MP Tessa Jowell, is charged with co-ordinating funding.  

Members of the public are being encouraged to get involved in helping decide how this funding can be spent.  

Cllr Veronica Ward, cabinet member for culture, leisure, sport and the Olympics at Southwark Council, said: "The Olympic buzz is well and truly gaining pace, and today we're letting everyone know what we're aiming to do, and how we aim to go about it. But we're also keen to hear from everyone in Southwark, whether they, live, work, or study in the borough, on how they would like us to use this legacy fund. I'm really pleased we have someone with the passion and insight of Tony to help us do this." 

Cllr Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, said: "We're excited about the direction our Olympic vision is heading, with a world champion sportsman on board, and a commitment to funding Olympic projects across the borough. It's also vitally important that we get young people interested and engaged in what Olympics has to offer, and we'll make sure they directly benefit from the funds that we secure." 

At the launch Tessa Jowell, former Olympics minister and MP for Dulwich, said "she hoped other authorities would follow Southwark's initiative", and that the launch "was an example of Southwark leading the way." 

She added: "It's vital that Southwark continues to take full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and seizes its own legacy. I'm delighted to be part of the team that helps deliver this. I have great admiration for Tony who is as committed to grass roots sport as he was to becoming one of our finest World Champions. I want to see the same level of enthusiasm and vigour about Southwark's legacy as we have already seen in the campaign to redevelop the Herne Hill Velodrome." 

Photo caption: Councillor Peter John, leader of Southwark Council, Tessa Jowell MP, and Tony Doyle MBE 

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