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Olympic celebrations launch £500,000 investment in Kingsmeadow track

Back row left to right jenny archer mbe cllr pickering mayor of kingston cllr craig sports champion anna mayoress front row weir archer competitors and david weir centre left

A Guinness World Record was achieved at the launch of Kingsmeadow's new track.

The Mayor of Kingston, Cllr Julie Pickering and Cllr Andrea Craig cheered on paralympian David Weir and Weir Archer Academy teammates at a Guinness World Record attempt at the launch of the £500,000 Kingsmeadow track investment yesterday (Wednesday 21 June).

The Weir Archer Academy successfully broke a World Record, completing the 1,300 mile challenge. 250 miles were accomplished on the new track, with an additional 7 cyclists riding from Kingston to Brighton and back again to finish the ambitious task.

The half-million pound project, funded by Kingston Council, has seen the eight-lane track at the Kingsmeadow Fitness and Athletics Centre get a complete overhaul. This follows a £400,000 investment in leisure facilities at Tolworth Recreation Ground and Kingfisher Leisure Centre.

Alongside the friends and family of Weir Archer Academy, Jenny Archer, David Weir’s coach, was on hand to support and advise the dedicated competitors.

On marking the launch of the new track, the Mayor of Kingston, Cllr Julie Pickering said:

“I was truly astounded at the level of passion and determination on display yesterday. On the hottest day of the year, they powered through and delivered something incredible - well done to all involved. I’m sure that even more people will be getting involved now we have a fantastic new track at Kingsmeadow.”

Seven-time London Marathon winner David Weir added:

“I’m so proud of everyone that pushed in the heat to get this Guinness World Record and to do it at Kingsmeadow, the home of Weir Archer Academy, is brilliant.

“We’re producing, at all levels, fantastic athletes, as well as providing that all-important support to them, but also their family and friends. There’s an incredible amount of sporting talent here and generally in the South East. To have the new track is great and offers more opportunity to coach and support people with disabilities to achieve their goals.”

Olivia, a 16-year-old athlete at the Weir Archer Academy, said:

“I started at Weir Archer Academy in 2013 and was quite shy, having been bullied at school. Being at Weir Archer has changed my life - I’m now an ambassador for the cerebral palsy team and have become much more confident.”

Six-time British paralympian David Weir CBE and his long-time coach, Jenny Archer MBE, founded the Weir Archer Academy in 2013 at the Kingsmeadow Fitness and Athletic Centre. The Academy provides world-class sport opportunities for people with disabilities.

If you would like to support the Academy, visit the Weir Archer donation webpage.

For more information on keeping active in Kingston, visit www.kingston.gov.uk/sports.

Notes to editors

The council’s four leisure centres, including Kingsmeadow Fitness and Athletics Centre, are run by Places for People Leisure.

The Weir Archer Academy provides athlete and coaching support and expertise across all levels and abilities including working with schools in South London, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire; working with clubs and coaches from the South East and providing access to the Academy for international development for under resourced counties.