- Tuesday, 14 August 2012 09:18
The District Council is celebrating the gold medal decision to ask Olympics mastermind Lord Sebastian Coe to officially open our Arc Leisure Matlock attraction.
As the curtain came down on a XXXth Olympiad that exceeded all expectations on Sunday and Lord Coe, the London 2012 organising committee chairman, accepted an offer from the Prime Minister to become a "legacy ambassador" for the Games, Arc staff were re-living a smaller-scale ceremony just 10 months ago.
Back in October Lord Coe outlined his hopes for the 2012 Olympics before officially opening the District Council's £12-million leisure facility.
Since then he has gone on to head up the organisation of a London showpiece described as "absolutely fabulous" by the International Olympic Committee, while Arc - which first opened its doors to the public almost exactly a year ago - is on track to record half a million visits by the end of the year.
Chairman of Derbyshire Dales District Council's Communities Committee Councillor Mrs Carol Walker said:
"We make no excuse for congratulating ourselves on the decision to ask Lord Coe to open Arc Leisure Matlock and we are delighted that both the Olympics and Arc have been touched by success. We know people will have been inspired by the Games. Some may aspire to be Olympians of the future and others will simply want to take part in more healthy activities. Whatever the target, it's great to know we have the perfect facility here in the Derbyshire Dales."
Arc Leisure Matlock manager Paul Blakemore said:
"We knew it was a real coup to have someone of the pedigree of Lord Coe to officially open the centre, and of course he was already well known for his phenomenal exploits as a double Olympic gold medallist and one of the finest runners the world has seen.
"However, in the past few weeks he has become even better known to a whole new generation as the main man behind the London Games and more and more people visiting us point to the Arc logo he signed which is on display in the reception area and say 'Wow - was he really here!' He must be one of the most famous people in the world right now."
Eighteen local schools gathered at Arc on 21 October last year to hear Lord Coe say:
"With just 280 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games it is a privilege to formally open such an impressive leisure centre for the Derbyshire Dales and wider East Midlands community. I really would be hard pushed to tell you I have been to a leisure centre that has melded into a community and environment as well as this has."
Meanwhile, praise for London's third Games has been lavish and Lord Coe said at the closing ceremony: "We lit a flame and we lit up the world", adding: "When our time came, we did it right. Britain, thank you."