London Heathside athlete’s and North Londoners, in general, have fantastic athletics facilities to use once again thanks to the efforts and hard work from the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership.
The ‘FPSP’ was formed in 2012 to manage and oversee the running of the Finsbury Park facilities that includes the athletics track, free weights gym area, grass pitch, 7 full-size tennis courts and 2 mini tennis courts.
The volunteer-based organisation which is formed of a membership of Access to Sports, Dynamic Sports Academy, London Blitz American Football Club, and London Heathside Athletics club has been working closely with partners such as England Athletics to ensure funding of around £40,000 from Sport England grant to support improvements to facilities within the sport. Sport England had further involvement with over £300,000 of financial support towards new floodlighting and associated costs.
Chris Jones CEO of England Athletics said: “This is well deserved as they are a great club who work hard for their athletes and the local community at large, this is a fantastic outcome for all concerned and we wish London Heathside all the very best in the future”.
The support for the project didn’t stop there with the Mayor of London providing around £60,000 and the London Marathon Charitable Trust becoming the principal partner and funder with £500,000 The result of the support from the trust will see the arena named ‘London marathon track at Finsbury Park’ at the opening of the athletics track in the spring.
Other financial supporters included Haringey Council who have also been integral to the project.
What’s impressive with the progress of the redevelopment of Finsbury Park is seeing the number of volunteers mobilised to deliver the project and the task of the facility management after it was previously overseen by a local authority, this is no mean feat!
Jerry Odlin of London Heathside stresses that the strength of Finsbury Park is its location. “….location location location all about the transport. We believe because of the location with 10 bus routes, 2 tube stations, and a main train line, this track can be a prominent training venue for North East London”.
The official reopening of the venue in the spring will see the start of an open track and field series.
To see images of the redevelopment and its progress visit: http://www.tomhosking.co.uk/media/fptrack/index.htm
*photos by Tom Hosking
For more information on London Heathside visit: www.londonheathside.org.uk
For more information the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership: www.finsburyparksportspartnership.org.uk