April 17 - Former UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn is using the imminent start of building work at the Don Valley Stadium site in Sheffieldo try to push Olympic legacy back up the domestic political agenda.
Caborn, Sports Minister at the time London won the right to stage the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics in 2005, is seeking a meeting with Sebastian Coe and the Olympic Legacy Cabinet Committee to update them on the major sports and science project about to start taking shape where the Don Valley Stadium until recently stood.
The Olympic Legacy Park for Sport, Health Sciences and Wellbeing, of which Caborn is now chairman, will house the administrative centre of Sheffield's National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM), a multi-sports community stadium, a school and possibly both a new university technical college and another new community arena for basketball and other sports.
The new stadium is expected to provide facilities for both the Sheffield Eagles rugby league and Rotherham Titans rugby union clubs.
The Park will be "the next chapter of Don Valley", Caborn told insidethegames.
The original Stadium's closure last year sparked much controversy, with concerns expressed about the future of athletics in the city.
In a detailed four-page letter to Coe, now British Olympic Association chairman, Caborn claims these concerns have now been "addressed and resolved" by "relocating athletics to a refurbished athletics stadium at Woodburn Road".
Caborn writes: "The Legacy Park, as the name implies, aims to build legacy through collecting primary data and information from the continuum of active populations on the park including the critical mass of Olympic and elite athletes, professional competitors, amateur and community sport programmes.
"This data and information provides the bedrock for the development of knowledge and expertise garnered and transformed by the NCSEM Sheffield to stimulate new solutions and improved health services for Sheffield's communities transforming Sheffield into the healthiest core city within the UK by 2020.
"The NCSEM administrative hub, working with the Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER), will capture, develop and package the intellectual property emanating from the Legacy Park, making it accessible to the many companies (over 200 in the medical sector in the city region) for further exploitation.
"Simultaneously, it will provide links to the new Medical Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on the nearby and very successful Advanced Manufacturing Park.
"This medical sector...will gain greatly from the work being carried out by the NCSEM and the CSER on the Legacy Park, and in turn create wealth and improve UK competitiveness."
The second anniversary of the opening of the London 2012 Games falls in July, a landmark likely to put Ministers under renewed pressure to demonstrate that a worthwhile legacy for ordinary citizens is taking shape.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
November 2013: Mike Rowbottom - A lament for the going, going Don Valley Stadium
July 2013: Next stage announced in plan to transform Don Valley Stadium sporting site in Sheffield
April 2013: Don Valley Stadium demolition plan confirmed
March 2013: Don Valley Stadium proposals unveiled as "biggest Olympic legacy project outside of London"
March 2013: Alan Hubbard - London 2012 legacy? All that's being left behind is a bitter taste in the mouth