Lord Sebastian Coe

Lord Sebastian Coe visits the Ricoh Arena

20th September 2011

Lord Coe visits the Ricoh Arena

Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, visited Coventry on Monday 19 September.

Lord Coe visited the City of Coventry Stadium to learn how the West Midlands is preparing for the London 2012 games, including Coventry’s preparations to host the Olympic Football Tournament.

Greeted by Daniel Gidney, Chief Executive of City of Coventry Stadium and Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council, Lord Coe toured the Ricoh Arena, to be re-named the City of Coventry Stadium for the 2012 games. He learned of the significant £7million city centre investment taking place in Coventry in preparation for 2012, including the transformation of Broadgate and Gosford Street.

Lord Coe also met representatives from Coventry University, key in organising the city’s Ambassadors Scheme programme, recruiting volunteers for the 2012 games. He also met Games and Me champion John Ledwidge, Head Groundsman at the City of Coventry Stadium and, at 25, the youngest groundsman in the UK.

Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games said: “I am delighted to be in the West Midlands as we get ever closer to the London 2012 Games and to have the opportunity to hear more about progress being made in Coventry on plans to host Olympic Football matches. It is great to see people and businesses from across the West Midlands playing a key role in the preparations for the 2012 Games next year. I hope that the region’s achievements to date in staging and celebrating this once in a lifetime event will inspire others to get involved and make it a truly UK wide occasion.”

David Moorcroft, Chair West Midlands for 2012 said: “With less than a year to go, the West Midlands is experiencing major benefits from our involvements in London 2012. Coventry is seeing significant investment in its public spaces, Birmingham hosts the USA and Jamaican Track and Field teams and is of course also hosting the opening night concert of the London 2012 Festival. Everyone across the region can experience the excitement of the Torch Relay, get involved in Cultural Olympiad events or run their own Community Games. I urge everyone to have their own 2012 moment.”

Martin Reeves, Chief Executive, Coventry City Council said: "Lord Coe's visit to Coventry provides another important landmark for the city and brings even more excitement in the build up to London 2012 here in Coventry. I'm confident Coventry people are immensely proud of having the status of being a co-host city and that as the event draws closer, that excitement and pride that people have for their city will be celebrated loud and clear."

George Duggins, Deputy Leader, Coventry City Council said: "We are delighted to welcome Lord Coe to our fine city. London 2012 is set to be the best games ever and we are proud that Coventry and the people who live here will be part of what promises to be the greatest sporting event the world has ever seen. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are getting ready to play or part alongside creating a lasting legacy for local people stretching way beyond next year. As we get ready to host Olympic football next year thousands of Coventrians are already involved in the preparation - over 90% of our schools are signed up to the get set programme, the torch is being made here, our live site is drawing in the crowds and we are investing in the transformation of our city centre. But this is just the start for Coventry - because if there is one thing I know about my city - it's that people will step up, get involved and enjoy every second.”

Daniel Gidney, Chief Executive of the Ricoh Arena, said: “To be hosting the biggest sporting event in the world is a fantastic honour and achievement for the city of Coventry, and for this fantastic venue. We take pride in the fact that we have brought some major occasions to the city since we opened six years ago. The eyes of the world will be on Coventry next year and it is a fabulous opportunity to showcase the attractions of the city. It is a pleasure to host Lord Coe – and if he has some free time in July he is more than welcome to attend a 2012 game!”

To find out about how you can get involved in London 2012 activity in the West Midlands visit www.wmfor2012.com

To tell us how you are involved in or inspired by London 2012 share your events, pictures and 2012 experiences at www.facebook.com/thegamesandme

Posts made by the end of September will automatically be entered into a competition to win a visit to see the Olympic Park later this year.

To keep up to date on Coventry’s programme of 2012 activity and events visit www.coventry.gov.uk/london2012