quinta-feira, abril 09, 2009

Stars line up for arena launch

Stars line up for arena launch
Date published: 09/04/2009
More sporting stars are lined up for the launch of Middleton Arena on Saturday 25 April as the venue prepares its biggest event to date.

The event, which is open to the public, will see former Manchester City footballer Tommy Booth, Commonwealth Boxing Champion Matthew Hall and former Paralympic Judo star Simon Jackson MBE join Olympic great Sir Steve Redgrave CBE and Middleton's own 2008 Silver Medallist swimming sensation Keri-Anne Payne at the special event to launch the £15 million sports and entertainment venue.

Tommy Booth was born in Langley in 1949. He turned professional in 1967, playing for Manchester City, winning FA Cup medals,the European Cup Winners Cup and two League Cup winners’ medals. He played 382 times for City until 1981, scoring 25 goals. His remarkable achievements secured his place in football history.

Just last month Matthew Hall claimed the Commonwealth Light-Middleweight title from Bradley Pryce at the MEN Arena. Hotly tipped as a future world champion, Hall has proved that with hard work and determination anything is possible.

“The great facilities here at the new Middleton Arena can only encourage people to participate more in sports and healthy activities,” he said.

Simon Jackson MBE burst onto the scene in the 1988 Seoul Paralympics. He is a three time Paralympic Gold medalist and three time world champion in Judo. Having given up competitive Judo because of injury, he recently switched to cycling and is aiming towards London 2012.

As well as a chance to meet the sporting stars a range of activities will be taking place from 11.00am, including guided tours of the facilities. Visitors will be able to get a taste of the activities available at the arena, including fitness centre, pools and various sports facilities.

Demonstrations on show will include dance and salsa from local groups, while music will be provided by the Middleton Brass Band.

There will be a windsurfer simulator and an indoor rowing competition with fun sports and games to join in.

For the less energetic there will be a chance to play a round of crazy golf and see a theatre workshop by the MAD Theatre Group in the auditorium.

Organisers promise there will be something for all ages, and fun activities for youngsters including face painting, circus skills, magic, balloon modelling and the SHOKK gym.

Five time Olympic gold medalist rower Sir Steve Redgrave is visiting to mark the launch of the new arena.

After striking gold in Sydney 2000 he became Great Britain's only ever athlete to have won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic games. He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships gold medals. Sir Steve, whose achievements have been recognised as being amongst the greatest ever sporting moments will be chatting to visitors and signing autographs.

Andy Zuntz, Executive Director at Rochdale Council, said he is delighted that the public is already taking advantage of the new facilities: “The Middleton Arena is a fabulous place, and part of the major regeneration of the town centre. I hope people will take the opportunity to see the facilities for themselves on what I know is going to be a very special day.”

The launch event runs from 11.00am to 3.00pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Sir Steve Redgrave will be signing autographs at approximately 12.15pm.

Additional parking will be available close by the Middleton Arena. Free car parks at Brook House and Othen House will be staffed throughout the afternoon and clearly signposted.

The public launch kicks off a week of special events at the arena, culminating with a live stand up show by comedian Dave Spikey on Sunday 3 May in aid of the Paws for Kids charity.

FONTE (foto incluído): Rochdale Online - Rochdale,England,UK
FOTO: Middleton swimmer Keri-Anne Payne will be at the Middleton Arena for the official opening on Saturday 25 April.© Rochdale Online

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