Newham Mayor hails spectacular opening ceremony

30 July 2012 in 2012 Games and legacy and Mayor
The Mayor of the biggest Olympic borough has hailed the stunning opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Sir Robin Wales and Newham Council Chief Executive Kim Bromley-Derry attended the spectacular event last night that wowed the world. 

Called "Isles of Wonder", the extravaganza featured cyclist Bradley Wiggins, the first British winner of the Tour de France, actor Kenneth Branagh playing the role of legendary engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, James Bond and the Queen.

Reflecting on the start of the greatest sporting show on earth - two thirds of which is taking place in Newham - Sir Robin said: "Well it's finally here. The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games means that we can truly say the eyes of the world are on Stratford, Newham and London."

Meanwhile, thousands of Newham residents flocked to Stratford Park and Central Park to watch live action on giant screens in Stratford Park and Central Park.
Throughout the day, almost 16,000 attended Stratford Park, and over 7,500 visited Central Park.

Sir Robin added: "We are having one hell of a Games party.

"We promised Newham would be a part of the Games and we are delivering on it in style! More than 1,000 residents have been involved in the Opening Ceremony including 230 children from seven schools. Something I found incredible was that in the middle of organising the ceremony, director Danny Boyle took time out from his schedule to spend time with some of our children. It was an act of generosity that was much appreciated.

"We have bought 500 Olympic and Paralympic tickets for residents, ranging from the highest demand Opening Ceremony tickets to day passes for the Olympic Park. They have been paid for using funds received for the use of Newham venues as Games time training venues, so there is no cost to the taxpayer.

"In addition, we secured an exclusive offer of 2,700 discounted Olympic Park day pass tickets for our residents as well as 14,000 free tickets for the events that tested the Games venues.

"We expect crowds of Newham residents at our live sites in Stratford and East Ham which will be open throughout the Games. Through our Let's Get the Party Started campaign we are helping residents to put on their own Games celebrations. Thousands have and are staging street parties, talent shows, exhibitions and more. They are bringing people together and building relationships.

"We have also used the Games to inspire people into sport. We have invested in improved local sporting facilities from multi-use games areas to parks, and increased provision of free and low-cost sports and activity opportunities including free swims, neighbourhood sports and summer holiday schemes."