Carl Miller is a former Olympic basketball athlete who performed in the 1988 and 1992 Games.
Yesterday evening he joined with Save Leyton Marsh group and local youngsters to support the group’s call for an open day of the basketball facilities on Leyton Marsh and for a positive legacy from the Games, especially for local young people who have suffered the loss of so many of their green spaces including East Marsh and Leyton Marsh.
He met with locals at the Lea Valley Ice Centre on Lea Bridge Road where they held up signs saying ’20k No Way We Won’t Pay the ODA’ in reference to the £20,000 + costs the ODA are claiming from the group since the JR application was refused. Another series of signs said ‘Space to Play, Not Costs to Pay, We Want Legacy’. The group then marched and dribbled their way to the site of the facility to show Carl the nature of the site and to compare it with what could have been provided to schools/ the community in the form of a permanent and less destructive building.
The group then headed to South Millfields where local children played with Carl on the existing basketball facilities which we believe should be given funding for improvement, especially as the ODA have spent hundreds of thousands on a building which has confiscated green space and locals are not even allowed inside. A short video clip of Carl interacting with the youngsters, courtesy of RubbishRider, can be see here.
The group believe the ODA and LOCOG should show they are serious about providing a positive legacy, allowing local youngsters to see the athletes train in the facility and providing them with better park facilities.