Video: Audley Harrison renews support for under threat playcentre in Stonebridge
- Credit: Archant
Olympic boxing gold medallist Audley Harrison has renewed his support for a beloved children’s play centre in Stonebridge which faces demolition.
Fresh from his stint inside the Big Brother house, Mr Harrison took time out of his busy schedule to dropped in at Stonebridge Adventure Playground (SAP) today for a photo-shoot to raise its profile as the centre fights for survival.
A chorus of “save our playground” rung around the play area, Shakespeare Avenue, initiated by the former European heavyweight champion, who reminisced about the time he had spent at the facility during his youth years with a crowd of star-struck children and past users.
Mr Harrison helped fight the playground’s last closure threat and famously donned a Keep Stonebridge Adventure Playground Open T-shirt minutes before his world heavyweight fight with David Haye in 2010.
The sportsman, who previously lived in Stonebridge and Kingsbury, said: “They can’t close this place down. It’s madness.
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“This is somewhere I spent a lot of my time. I was a wild child but my youth years would have been a lot worst if I didn’t have a place like this to go and burn off energy.
“I learned, and other people can learn, about respect and key life skills in a place like this.”
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He continued: “They need to find a way to keep it open. Are they [the council] governing for themselves or governing for the people? If they are governing for the people then place like this should stay open.”
The playground has been at the heart of the community since 1976 and fought off closure, in 2012, when funding was found at the 11th hour.
Under current proposals, SAP will be reduced to rubble to accommodate the expansion of a primary school and the construction of new homes.
A smaller children’s play space will also be created and the shape of the existing open space will be altered as a result of the changes.
A on the plans consultation will take place throughout October.
BPA have an online petition calling for the playgroung to be saved. To sign it visit brentplay.org.