A leading Paralympic sports facility in Kingston-Upon-Thames, London has officially opened thanks to the support of Tarmac, the UK’s leading sustainable building materials and constructions solutions business.
The Weir Archer Academy – a training facility for disabled athletes of all levels, including budding Paralympians – was officially opened on Tuesday 14 January. The Academy was established in 2013 by David Weir CBE and his coach Jenny Archer MBE who attended the ceremony along with representatives from Tarmac, athletes, families and supporters.
Volunteers from Tarmac helped with a range of developments at the new facility, from providing a more accessible entrance for young athletes in wheelchairs to carrying out remedial groundworks.
David Weir CBE said: “With training taking place in a very small room that we had to share with other members of a nearby leisure centre our 24 athletes were desperately in need of a larger facility.
“The portable cabins were made possible by a donation from Abbot World Marathon Majors and a donation and grant received by the London Marathon Charitable Trust. With limited funding available, the cost of the ramp to get them from their transport to the new space was proving a challenge.
“Following a call for help, we were so pleased that the team at Tarmac stepped in to support us with carrying out groundworks as well as the creation of a new footpath and a wonderful outside social area, planting and landscaping and a fence to secure the perimeter of the site.”
Tarmac also created a new visual identity for the facility provided some essential equipment for use by the athletes to support their training and development.
Phil Greenin, framework delivery manager at Tarmac, who leads the team of volunteers from the company, said: “Having met with the team from the Academy it became very apparent that there was a group, challenged in so many ways. I felt compelled to tell their story and encourage our teams to help in some way. We are very active in supporting local communities and it was no surprise that there was great enthusiasm from our local teams to support the new access way for the academy.
“It’s a great feeling to be supporting young athletes and making a positive impact on their lives. The stories I’ve heard of despair and struggle are hard to comprehend on many levels, yet their energy is relentless and their support for each other is clear to see.”
Jenny Archer MBE added: “We’d like to thank Tarmac for creating a special place the Academy can now call home.”
The newly renovated facility will play host to a new way of coaching and training developed by David Weir CBE and Jenny Archer MBE which has achieved outstanding wheelchair athletics results.
For more information about The Weir Archer Academy visit www.weirarcher.co.uk