Community comes together at Hackney Marshes Open day

Hundreds of people packed Hackney Marshes for the Hackney Marshes Open Day - a day of fun and sport for all the family.

Runners of all ages took part in races including the One2Go Lee Valley Marathon and the Kids Olympic Rings Relay. Former Coronation Street actress, Tracey Brabin also joined the 10k race. All the participants were given a medal and a goody bag by Hackney Council s Speaker, Cllr Susan Fajana Thomas.

Howard Clark, 40, who came from Portsmouth to take part in the marathon said: "It was my first time around here, I enjoyed it, it s quite a place - to take in an Olympic water park along the way was quite a treat, and it makes a change from looking at roads and buildings."

Football teams from across East London came together on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to play in the Eid Cup, which was set up in 2007 to bring communities together and promote peace. Sab Bham, director of community engagement at Salaam Peace said: "It was the 9/11 anniversary on Sunday which made it more significant. The community can work together, not just Muslims but the wider community across Hackney, Newham and Waltham Forest, with support from the police, the Army, GLL and Hackney, and it s good to showcase that."

Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane, who presented the winning team with their medals said: “The Hackney Marshes open day is a great example of what happens when a community comes together. The day gave everyone a chance to get involved in sport and other activities and have some fun. With the Olympics in under a year it was a great opportunity to showcase the wonderful new sports facilities at Hackney Marshes.”

Sam Wright, GLL Project Manager for Hackney Marshes Centre said: "It was great to see the Marshes so full of diversity. Everybody knows that we are the home of grass roots football, but it was a chance for us to showcase just how versatile the Marshes can now be, with the addition of the fantastic new facilities in the Centre. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the organisers, staff and volunteers on the day, for making it such a success"

The Family Festival, entertained with local bands and singers, aerobics, Brazilian dance, cheerleading, massage, hula hooping and children’s activities.

For those who wanted something less energetic on a Saturday, there was an opportunity, with the view of the Olympic Park to contribute to an Olympic skyline mural.

There was also be an opportunity to look round the new Hackney Marshes Centre at South Marsh; that opened in spring 2011. It provides 30 spacious changing rooms as well as educational and community facilities. A new café and terrace with views across the Marshes will open later in 2011.

Hackney Marshes is owned by Hackney Council and managed by social enterprise GLL (Greenwich leisure Ltd) and is open: Monday to Sunday, 8am-6pm. For bookings on Hackney Marshes and Mabley Green or to find out more about the Hackney Marshes Centre call 020 8986 7955 or email

For more information about all sports and leisure facilities in Hackney visit

The Hackney Marshes open day was organised by One2Go and supported by Hackney Council and GLL, a social enterprise managing Hackney Council’s leisure centres.

To see a film of the event go to

Follow us at www.twitter/hackneyleisure www.facebook/hackneyleisure