Olympic paddler is VIP for official opening of transformed park in Stone


Olympic canoeist Adam Burgess

Olympic canoeist, Adam Burgess, is to be a guest of honour at the official opening of a £1.5m park transformation in Stone.

The local paddler who represented Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 games is a member of the Stafford and Stone Canoe Club which will be involved in the opening day at Westbridge Park later this month.

The development has included new play equipment, zip wire, wheeled sports facility and multi-use games area (MUGA) - as well as a woodland play area, sunken garden, toilets and enhanced footpaths and landscaping.

The park has proved hugely popular since work was completed at the end of last year. And at 10am on Saturday 27 April the Mayor of Stafford Borough, Councillor Andy Cooper, will kick start a day of activities for the official opening.

Adam came fourth in the 2020 games and will be going for gold as a member of the GB team in Paris later this year. He will be joined at the park opening by fellow paddler Chris Bowers who has been competing on the international stage for a decade and won gold in the K1 team event at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships 2018.

The Westbridge Park-based Canoe Club is renowned for producing national, European and world champions - including Joe Clarke who won Olympic Gold in Rio 2016. And they will be finishing their ‘Paddle to Paris’ at the event - a challenge to paddle 619km which is the distance from their club to the canoe slalom venue in Paris. They will also have canoe slalom rowing machines so that members of the public can help them reach their target.

The Stone Scout and Guide Band will be performing, there will be a ‘skate jam’ on the wheeled sports bowl and some sports taster sessions. Other entertainment will be taking place until 2pm and a variety of stalls have been lined up. More about what is happening on the day can be found on the borough council’s website.

The play park is significantly larger than the previous site and includes a range of equipment for all ages - including tower and tube slide, integrated mini trampoline, boulder scramble, tyre swing, and climbing blocks. The double zip wire has a more than 30 metre run. The MUGA is available for five-a-side football, basketball and tennis.

Information about the park and updates around the opening event is available from www.staffordbc.gov.uk/westbridge-park

Press Release No 6116


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