TV and radio presenter Nicky Campbell and Olympic athlete Jade Johnson have joined Tooting MP Sadiq Khan's campaign to save a local athletics track.
Tooting Bec Athletics Track has been earmarked for cuts by Conservative led Wandsworth Council. The announcement was made after a document leaked by a Wandsworth councillor, included the track in the long list of service closures being discussed by the Conservative council.
In response, Khan, alongside local residents and users of the track, has launched the 'Keep the Track Running' petition, which already has well over 1000 signatures.
This weekend hundreds of local people showed up to add their support to the campaign, including Nicky Campbell, whose daughter Bria, a budding athlete, uses the track to the train. Other supporters include Olympic athlete Jade Johnson, and well known running club, the Herne Hill Harriers.
Sadiq Khan MP said:
"The response to our campaign has been overwhelming and clearly demonstrates the strength of feeling against any threat facing the track.
"I remember using the track when I was at the local primary and secondary schools, and my daughters use it still. I also trained at the track for the London Marathon earlier this year.
"The council really underestimated the popularity of the track and how much it means to people. I hope our campaign makes them think twice about handing over the management of the track, and makes them put safeguards in place to keep it open and affordable for the local community."
Steve Bosley, Herne Hill Harriers, said:
“Tooting Bec Athletics track has been our base since the 1930s and is a focal point for our activities. We offer athletics training for all ages and standards and allow the local community to fulfil their ambitions and dreams whether it is to run faster, run a marathon or just get fitter. Several youngsters who have come training for the first time have developed to become national champions or internationals. We have grown the track to be a centre of the local community putting on holiday programmes, sports relief miles which raised £17,500, open days as well as school sports days and to lose the track would be a loss for everyone. It was great to see such support for the campaign at short notice including our Olympian Jade Johnson and presenter Nicky Campbell.”