Building a legacy for London - Balfour Beatty puts youth sport centre stage
20 July 2012 0 comments
Balfour Beatty’s continuing support for youth sport came under the spotlight on 16 July when our Summer Reception, held in the beautiful College Garden of Westminster Abbey, celebrated the achievements of the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games, just 11 days before the start of the London Olympics.
Attended by over 350 people including Balfour Beatty customers, MPs, Lords and members of the London Assembly, the evening showcased the growing success of the Games, which involved an estimated 80,000 young participants this year – enough to fill every seat in London’s Olympic Stadium.
During the evening, Dame Tessa Jowell, Deputy Mayor of the Olympic Village, presented this year’s Jubilee Trophy and Disability Cup to 2012 winners Team Croydon, paying tribute to Balfour Beatty’s ongoing support for the Games, now Europe’s biggest youth sport event.
Against a backdrop of archery, badminton and table tennis, the evening also featured the presentation of the first three Balfour Beatty ‘16 for 16’ bursaries for London’s most promising disabled athletes. Launched to mark London’s first hosting of the Paralympic Games, a total of 16 bursaries have been made available to young people with the drive and potential to represent their country at the highest level, either in 2016 or at another future date.
The bursaries were presented by three of the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games’ most famous alumni, Steve Backley OBE, the only British track and field athlete to have won medals at three successive Olympic Games; Linford Christie OBE, the only man ever to simultaneously hold the Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth 100m titles; and Dalton Grant, Olympic high-jumper and winner of five major championship high jump medals, including gold at the 1994 European Indoors and gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
Equally inspiring are the young recipients of the three awards:
Sheikh Sheikh, 17, Wheelchair racer
Having sustained a serious spinal injury in 2002, Sheikh has become an international wheelchair racer. Chosen to be an Olympic torch-bearer, he is three-times winner of the London Wheelchair Marathon.
Kyle Powell, 16, Sprinter
Despite being unable to fully bend his arms, Kyle can run 100m in just 11.88 seconds. He is one of the youngest members of the British team he and will compete in the 4x100m Paralympic relay.
Rebecca Cooper, 16, Gymnast
Rebecca is a member of the National Squad for Gymnastics and Movement for People with Disabilities (GMPD) and is ranked 6th nationally. She has won second place in the Class 2 category (people with physical and sensory impairment) at the National Championships.
Earlier this year, Balfour Beatty announced that it will continue to sponsor the London Youth Games until at least 2015, investing a further £1.1 million to bring its total investment in youth sport to over £2.5 million. Together with the construction of the iconic Aquatics Centre and a 10-year contract to manage and maintain the Olympic Park and the ArcelorMittal visitor centre after the Games, this investment is a key part of our commitment to building an enduring legacy for youth sport in London.
Find out more about our community investment
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