Pupils receive message from Raheem Sterling at Olympic Steps launch
- Credit: Chris Winter
Pupils from Raheem Sterling's former school have received an inspirational message from the England footballer as the Olympic Steps in Wembley Park is officially completed.
Wembley Stadium’s new entrance and public space was officially launched on Thursday (June 10) ahead of Euro 2020 this weekend.
Built by regeneration giant Quintain in conjunction with Brent Council, the steps are named after and designed in honour of the 1948 Olympic Games that were held in Wembley Park.
Year 11 pupils at Ark Elvin Academy, in Cecil Avenue, joined representatives of Brent Council, the Football Association and Quintain to officially open the Olympic Steps.
The four flights of twelve steps have replaced the iconic pedway ramp and created a public space for Brent locals and visitors which is "bigger than the pitch inside Wembley Stadium" .
In a message to the students, Raheem Sterling, who attended Ark when it was Copland Community School, said: “Growing up in Brent, I could see the arch of Wembley Stadium from my home.
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"A short walk away and a lot of work later, I’ve got to do what I love in the stadium and representing everyone who calls Brent home.
"I am so proud of where I grew up – our community and the growing number of new, accessible spaces for younger members of the community to play and discover their skills and passions.”
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Rebecca Curtis, principal at Ark Elvin Academy, said: “This will be an unforgettable experience for our students.
"We are so proud to have been part of the launch of this new and historic public space, which will be much enjoyed by young people from Brent like our students and those from farther afield.”
The launch of the public space comes as the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament kicks off and as Wembley Park gears up for its Summer of Play 2021 programme - a 13-week line-up of free, family-friendly events, including live music, public art trails, open-air sporting and exercise, and outdoor film screenings.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said it was a "very proud moment".
"I hope this new public space outside the stadium will inspire young people from Brent to realise their potential and, one day, make the space inside the stadium as much their own, just like Raheem has done."