2012 Soapbox: Hackney
By Valley Fontaine
Meet three of the people who live or work in Hackney who are having their say on the role of the borough in the 2012 Olympic Games. Hear what they have to say and join in the discussion with your own views...
Almost one third of the Olympic Games are is in Hackney. The media and broadcast centre for journalists reporting on the 2012 Games will be located within the borough, as well as the Handball Arena.
Click here to watch TV report:
Ersan Ibrahim - Mobile Café Owner
Ersan has a café on wheels opposite the Olympic site at Hackney Wick. His father started the business 20 years ago, and Ersan joined him 16 years ago, and now runs the business himself. He says he is feeling the downturn in customers due to many companies having been subject of compulsory purchase orders. He also admits that even before the Olympics came to town, business was slowly disappearing. Currently the River Lea separates Ersan from the workers on the Olympic site. He hopes once a new bridge is put up he will get new customers. He is optimistic about the future, and plans to still be around during and after the games in 2012.
Claire Pike - Head of School - Gainsborough Primary and Nursery School
The school is the nearest to the Olympic site, so much so that they have their own time lapse camera on the roof. The bridge in their playground which took them onto what is now the Olympic site, for nature studies, was demolished a few months ago. Along with some other schools in Hackney, Gainsborough have adopted an Olympic curriculum, where one week every half term the children will have lessons that have an Olympic slant.
Dr John Coakley
Dr John Coakley - Medical Director of Homerton Hospital the designated 2012 hospital
Dr Coakley will coordinate staff and the hospital for 2012. He said plans were already in hand to improve and increase local services to prevent them being swamped by the expected influx of visitors. Medical clinics will be set up at the Olympic village, sporting venues and hotels where the competitors are staying. Most of the cost for this will be covered by the Olympic Organising Committee. Dr Coakley says he hoped the Olympics would encourage members of the public and himself, to take up sport - and keep active.
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last updated: 08/01/2009 at 12:13