Churches sports charity praises new Olympic Park

More Than Gold, the churches' 2012 Olympics and Paralympics charity, have visited the Olympic Park near Stratford and seen firsthand the largest construction project underway in Europe,  in preparation for the 2012 Games. 

James Parker, Catholic Executive Coordinator for the 2012 Games, said:  "The transformation of toxic wasteland into what will be the largest urban park created in Europe for more than 150 years is incredible to see.  It is a visible testimony to how, when there is vision and determination, chaos can be turned into order. You cannot help but be in awe at what is being created for the 2012 Games.

"Not only will our country have the opportunity to host the entire world in several weeks of celebrations in 2012, but we will also gain some of the world's foremost sporting facilities able to serve every discipline. These will serve as a reminder, not only to the younger generation but to every age group, that God calls us to be a people of vision and to care for our bodies as best as we can.  The Games themselves also speak to us of the hidden potential that often remains untapped in every one of us.

 "The Catholic community in Britain, working alongside other Christians, has a key part to play in helping to develop the principles of excellence, friendship and respect that the Olympics endorse.  Yet the sporting world, and our society as a whole, needs us to help foster true, godly virtues and values within it, something it is crying out to receive. If we don't engage ourselves with this task, who will?"

The More Than Gold team toured of the completed external structure of the Olympic Stadium, observed the impressive roof structure of the Aquatics Centre and the vast Media Centre, and saw works being done on the Olympic Village and the Velodrome.  They said the regeneration of the waterways around the Olympic Park was particularly notable, "symbolising our need to befriend the environment, but also manifesting God's original design being drawn up from being hidden under ashes".

More Than Gold was launched by the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster and other leading Christian figures, as well as by the charity's Chair of Trustees Lord Mawhinney (also Chairman of the Football League), and the Minister for the Olympics, the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP.

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