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Sport in east London received a major boost with the opening of a new state-of-the-art facility at the University of East London.

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Although SportsDock at UEL’s Docklands Campus will initially be used by Team USA as their headquarters during the Olympics, it will offer top of the range facilities at an affordable price for the residents of east London after the Games.

The £21million sports facility offers a fitness centre, strength and conditioning room, two outdoor 3G five-a-side football pitches, indoor arenas, dance studios and sports cafe – all before the athletes arrive. It will reopen to the local community and UEL students and staff afer the London 2012 Games

SportsDock was launched by double Paralympic medal winner, Ade Adepitan MBE, five-time American Olympic medallist and Chef de Mission for Team USA, Teresa Edwards, and British long distance track and road running athlete, Mara Yamauchi, who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Newham Mayor, Sir Robin Wales and MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms, also turned up to show their support.

Professor Patrick McGhee, UEL Vice-Chancellor, said: “The opening of SportsDock will herald the dawn of an exciting new era for sport in east London. It is a major milestone in our own ambition to become the number one university for sport in London by 2015 and will make a key contribution to the Olympic legacy.

“Without question, this epitomises what Olympic legacy is all about and will ensure students, staff and the local community have a world-class sports facility on their own doorstep at an affordable price. I’m delighted everyone enjoyed the day and it was a pleasure to share this memorable occasion with members of the local community and our Olympic partners, who we look forward to welcoming once again this summer.”

As part of the launch, Ade Adepitan and Teresa Edwards took part in a training session with the Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) and even managed to shoot a few hoops.

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