May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Denise Roland
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The Olympics and Paralympics have created an eruption of enthusiasm for sport among Haringey’s young people - but a leading Haringey sports figure warns that growing ambitions will need to be matched by the borough’s facilities.
Burk Gravis, head of the Haringey Sports Development Trust, made the warning the same week as the new contractor is announced to run Haringey’s dilapidated White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre.
After more than 20 years of neglect, millions of pounds is needed to restore the 40-acre ground where double Olympic champion Lord Sebastian Coe trained in the ‘80s.
Mr Gravis told the Journal: “What I’ve seen is a massive surge in interest, especially in minority sports like handball, which no-one had even heard of before the Games.
“For archery alone we’ve already had around 100 enquiries.”
Mr Gravis has high hopes for a strong Olympic legacy, but is concerned about the lack of good facilities across the borough. With few indoor spaces for sport, he warned of the risk that interest will fade as winter sets in.
He hopes the new management at White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre will work with everyone involved to make the grounds a state-of-the-art facility once more.
He said: “Decisions need to be made, quickly. If the centre is allowed to continue deteriorating, it will have a negative impact on sports in Haringey, there’s no question about it.”