Olympic legend Dame Kelly Holmes to star in York fun run

Kelly Holmes won gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Photograph: University of York / Eventbrite
7 Mar 2016 @ 10.07 pm
| Entertainment, Sport

One of Team GB’s greatest Olympians Dame Kelly Holmes is hotfooting it to York.

Dame Kelly will perform the official opening of the new £2 million athletics stadium at York University and take part in a community fun run. And you can run alongside her in the free event.

The double Olympian, who is training for this year’s London Marathon with the aim of raising £250,000 for five charities, will open the new facilities from 10am on Saturday, April 16.

Dame Kelly in York

University of York Sports Centre, James Way, Heslington YO10 5NA

Saturday, April 16: fun run: 10.30-11am; Q&A: 11.30-12.15pm; Athletics Open Day: 1.15pm-3.15pm

Book here

Dame Kelly’s fundraising page

For Dame Kelly, who won 1500m and 800m gold in Athens in 2004, it will be a welcome return to York as she used to train on the University’s old cinder track when she was based at nearby Imphal Army Barracks.

‘Delighted’ to return to York

‘It is great to promote state-of-the-art athletics facilities like this’ – Dame Kelly Holmes
‘It is great to promote state-of-the-art athletics facilities like this’ – Dame Kelly Holmes

Dame Kelly said:

I’m delighted to return to a city I have affection for and to open new athletics facilities that have now changed beyond recognition from those I once ran at.

It is great to promote state-of-the-art athletics facilities like this, especially one designed for the community. Schools and clubs in the area will really feel the benefit and hopefully inspire a whole new generation of athletes.

I look forward to taking part in some of the events planned on what will hopefully be a fantastic community day showcasing some fantastic facilities for the people of York.

Fun run and Q&A

Flashback to last summer when the City of York Athletic Club trained for the first time at the new track on the University of York campus
Flashback to last summer when the City of York Athletic Club trained for the first time at the new track on the University of York campus

The joint City of York Council and York University-funded facility on Heslington Campus West features an eight-lane regional standard athletics stadium, including pavilion and covered seating for 500 spectators.

During the day Dame Kelly will:

  • Officially open the new facility at the University’s York Sport Centre
  • Watch the conclusion of a 12- hour fundraising relay by York Sport Union clubs
  • Lead a community “Run with Kelly” fun-run
  • Meet members of the City of York and York University Athletics Clubs
  • Take part in a community Q&A session.

Everyone is welcome to take part. Book free tickets on the link in the panel.

“This is a fantastic day for athletics in York,” said Neil Hunter, chairman of City of York Athletics Club.

“The new stadium will provide opportunities for athletes for all ages and abilities. It is fitting that such an inspirational Olympian will be opening the facility.”

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at City of York Council, said:

This track is accessible to all and will be used not only for competitions but by regional schools, local groups and athletes of all ages and abilities.

We’re delighted that gold medal-winner Dame Kelly Holmes is available to officially open the new track.