Not only is Hadleigh, Essex, the historic site of William Booth’s ambitious social reform scheme for impoverished Londoners – and home to the current training site for people facing obstacles to education and employment – it now boasts the only Olympic mountain bike course in the world open to the public.
At the launch of Hadleigh Park by Essex County Council and Active Essex, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Right Hon John Whittingdale and Double Olympic Champion Cyclist and Britain’s most successful female Olympian, Victoria Pendleton CBE joined as special guests to celebrate the once in a lifetime Olympic legacy for Essex.
The Olympic trails and spectacular views that the world saw during 2012 have remained and are now open for all to see and enjoy. As visitors enter the site, they will find an oasis of tranquillity and refreshment at The Salvation Army’s centre and cafe, where trainees can also engage in fresh training opportunities.
Divisional Commander Major Norman Ord said: “We are looking forward to an exciting future working with our partners Essex County Council and Active Essex. The Salvation Army has been at the heart of Hadleigh for 125 years and we look forward to continuing to be there to provide practical support and a listening ear to our community and the visitors we meet through the centre and café.”
Double Olympic Champion Cyclist, Victoria Pendleton said: “It gives me great pleasure to be at HadleighParktoday celebrating this world class sports facility. It’s a wonderful venue for people to enjoy and fully equipped with everything you need to go from novice to Olympian.
“I wish HadleighParkevery success and I look forward to returning to support the major sporting events that HadleighParkwill undoubtedly attract.”