Great Expectations: Living in the shadow of London 2012

Last updated: 10 august, 2012 - 14:09 GMT

Nina Robinson reports from two Olympic cities - Beijing who were hosts in 2008, and Rio de Janeiro, who will be in 2016.

    • March 2010: Parts one and two

      • The world may be coming to East London in 2012, but with its rich diversity, much of the world can already be found here. Nina Robinson meets those living on the doorstep of the next Olympic Games.

    • October 2010: Parts three and four

      • With less than two years to go until the Games, Nina Robinson returns to Hackney to see how progress is coming along. As the Games draw nearer and nearer, how do locals feel the dramatic progress is shaping up?

    • April 2011: Parts five and six

      • Young people in Hackney are vulnerable to the criminal gangs based in the area. Nina Robinson finds out if any new facilities have been built to give young people new opportunities and keep them out of trouble.

Explore the community

    • The School

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      At the local primary school for children aged 5 - 11 years, there are after-school activities like football and dance workshops, which are very popular.

      Ashley Bennett who volunteers and helps out with these activities, says that they are often booked up and he thinks it would be nice to have more space and resources to expand the clubs to more children.

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    • Olympic Park

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      Looming over the Hackney estate is the Olympic Park. A huge part of London's bid focused around how the events would have a lasting effect on the people of east London.

      Andrew Altman is chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, and is tasked with making sure the promises made by the bid team are realistically carried out.

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    • Pedro club

      The Pedro Youth Club sits in the area of the estate known simply as the "murder mile".

      It is run by James Cook, former British and European champion boxer, who turned around the club's fortunes when he moved here in the 1980s.

      After some charitable donations, James now runs the club with the help of local volunteers.

      In this slideshow, hear from James as he describes arriving in Hackney, his career and why the Pedro Club is vital to locals.

      Shane, a local music producer, was busy in the Club's basement studio as he told of the importance of having good local resources.

      And Darrell tells how, after time in prison, he has emerged to turn his life around.

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    • The square

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      A focal point to the estate is the central square where there are a number of shops, a cafe and a small supermarket.

      In the centre of the square, there are benches and a special garden which residents pay to keep and maintain.

      Local resident Mark Whyte, says there are sometimes people sitting around drinking alcohol in the square and that there have been problems with young people hanging around this space with nothing to do.

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    • Community centre

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      The estate community centre is a hub for many different activities which local resident, Mark Whyte helps organise with a group of other residents. Drama rehearsals go on at the community centre and there is a library room.

      Mark also helps run the under 10's football team which holds training sessions every Saturday morning on nearby fields. After the outside sessions, the kids come into the community centre and are allowed to play playstation football, as Mark says it helps teach them the offside rule.

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    • Hackney Marshes

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      For many, Hackney Marshes is the traditional home of grassroots Sunday league football. Some of the world's best footballers learned their trade here – most notably David Beckham and England's World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore.

      Part of the marsh is being developed into facilities for media reporting the Olympics. Local footballers are concerned how this will effect the legacy of the Marshes.

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    • Homework club

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      Hackney is a melting pot of different cultures. More than 37 different languages are spoken in the homes of Hackney people.

      One local homework club attracts children from many different backgrounds, including Ethiopian and Somali.

      These kids are looking forward to watching the Olympics, and Nina meets one young boy who can't wait to see his heroes from Ethiopia, such as middle-distance running star Tsegaye Kebede (pictured).

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    • Tower block

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      Many of Hackney's tower blocks have been demolished to make way for low rise blocks. Hillary lives on the second floor of a low rise but is concerned about the lack of space to store bicycles.

      She tells the BBC's Nina Robinson that she hopes new facilities being built for the Olympics will be affordable and accessible to people on low incomes.

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    • Footbridge

      This footbridge links the estate to Hackney Marshes - a huge expanse of green fields which make up the largest number of football pitches in Europe and where there is a thriving Sunday morning league.

      The view onto the estate from the bridge is urban and concrete which is a huge contrast to the views of green grass if you turn around and look the other way.

      The estate has a football team which plays in the league but they are worried that Olympic redevelopment plans for part of the marshes where they play, will displace their football in two years of disruption. The local authority promise that their pitches will be returned in excellent condition after the Olympics and that there will also be new facilities built to replace the old.

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