Olympics legacy inspires Otley sports forum bid

Lizzie Armitstead with grandmother Marjorie Dunn

Lizzie Armitstead with grandmother Marjorie Dunn

First published in News

Sports clubs will meet in Otley next week to discuss using the area’s Olympics legacy as a springboard to join forces.

The event, which is open to all local sporting organisations and could lead to the founding of an Otley sports forum, is the brainchild of Marjorie Dunn, the grandmother of Olympic silver medal-winning cyclist Lizzie Armitstead.

The idea is to gauge support for a collective sports body that could drive forward major projects, like Otley Athletic Club’s plans to build Wharfedale’s first running track.

The meeting will be hosted by Otley Town Partnership at 1A Mercury Row at 6.30pm on Monday.

Chairman Peter Heald said: “With the Olympics and Paralympics having just finished and the success of Lizzie and others, this is a great time to sound this out. Marjorie had contacted a lot of sports groups when we were developing the Community Led Plan, and what came out of that was there wasn’t really any forum for all these sports groups.

“We were amazed at how many people are involved in sports in all kinds of ways, so we thought it would be good to see if there’s any appetite for having a sports forum for Otley to discuss aspirations, like the running track.

“Sometimes projects are a lot for one club to take on and finance on their own, but as a collective we could achieve more and share resources.”

Mrs Dunn said: “I never realised, when I started doing the work for the plan, my granddaughter was going to win a silver medal at the Olympics. So there’s never been a better time to try this and Lizzie’s perfectly happy to get behind it because she’s so keen to see local kids getting active.” The area had a particularly successful Olympics and Paralympics.

As well as Lizzie’s silver medal, Bramhope brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee took gold and bronze respectively in the triathlon, while Paralympic cyclist David Stone, of Rawdon , won a gold and bronze.

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