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London 2012 one year on: Beach volleyball, cycling and badminton – the Olympics come to Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 15:15 27 July 2013

Chris Gregory on the beach volleyball sand, which has been shipped from Horse Guards Parade to Ilford

Chris Gregory on the beach volleyball sand, which has been shipped from Horse Guards Parade to Ilford

Archant

Life was definitely a beach for one group of students who took to the volleyball courts to get some sand-sational top tips from a national player.

Chris Gregory, centre, taught Palmer Catholic Academy students how to play beach volleyball at Loxford ParkChris Gregory, centre, taught Palmer Catholic Academy students how to play beach volleyball at Loxford Park

Pupils at Palmer Catholic Academy, Aldborough Road South, Seven Kings, were coached by GB beach volleyball player Chris Gregory.

They honed their skills on Thursday at the beach volleyball courts in Loxford Park, Loxford Lane, Ilford.

The courts, which opened earlier this year, were created with 760 tonnes of sand brought from the Olympic courts in Horse Guards Parade.

Mr Gregory was discovered through a talent scheme and said he wanted to use the momentum of the Olympics to inspire future players.

Inside the badminton arena at Redbridge Sports and LeisureInside the badminton arena at Redbridge Sports and Leisure

He said: “I’m hopeful that by using the Olympic and Paralympic stardust that remains I can motivate all the young people on a permanent basis and continue to inspire even more people to take it up long-term.”

The day was part of the Sportivate project which aims to create a sporting legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic games and is funded by the National Lottery.

Beach volleyball is just one of the sports brought to Redbridge because of London 2012.

The Redbridge Cycling Centre, in Forest Road, Hainault, was opened in 2008 as a replacement for the former Eastway facilities that were redeveloped as part of the Olympic Park.

The centre was the start of the Redbridge leg of the torch relay and was home to Olympians training for the Games.

It is now used by cycling enthusiasts from near and far, hosts events and is a popular destination for school trips.

The Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre, in Forest Road, Barkingside, was awarded £200,000 towards the cost of the a badminton hall before the Games.

It was a training hub for badminton, judo and wrestling during the Olympics and for goalball during the Paralympics.


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