Mayor Boris plays badminton as Redbridge given Olympics role

MAYOR of London Boris Johnson swung into action on the badminton court today as he helped unveil Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre as an Olympic training venue.

He was joined at the Forest Road, Barkingside, venue by officials including Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee.

The sports centre will be a training venue for badminton, wrestling and judo during the London 2012 Olympic Games, and for Goalball during the Paralympics.

Funding of �6.4million will help pay for a new Olympic standard sports hall housing badminton and netball.

Speaking before hitting a few badminton shots with Gail Emms, who bagged silver at the 2004 Olympics in the badminton mixed doubles event, Mr Johnson said: “Today’s announcement puts some very important wheels in motion with a host of local venues across the capital being upgraded.

“More importantly this funding ensures that the local community will be able to benefit from state of the art facilities post 2012.

“I am equally delighted to announce today that funding from my PlaySport London Facility Fund is beginning to be distributed with Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre being the first beneficiaries.”

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Mr Johnson also paid a visit to Gants Hill to help mark the full reopening of the roundabout and was at Fairlop Waters Country Park, off Forest Road, Barkingside, to see how cash awarded by him has been spent.

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