Newham’s only closed marketplace, Queen’s Market in Green Street, played host to a special sporting extravaganza this past month where 300 local residents came to try their hand at fun and games courtesy of a community neighbourhood group, reports the Newham Mag.
Members of the community young and old converged on the Upton Park market, a short walk from the West Ham FC stadium and a popular Asian shopping district to attend the event, which was hosted by councillors and residents associated with the Green Street Community Neighbourhood team, which has links with local government in the borough of Newham, in east London.
The ‘Market Games’ event, a localised version of the Olympics with many sports that are new to this type of event, saw Upton Park residents participate in roller-skating, rowing machines, wheelchair basketball, table tennis, taekwondo, running and non-contact boxing. The different sports activities aimed to get residents thinking more about being active and healthy. A team of police officers representing Green Street Safer Neighbourhoods were also on hand to advise visitors on personal safety, crime prevention and security marking their valuables to prevent against theft.
The event also had support from the council’s leisure arm activeNewham, the West Ham United Community Sports Trust, London Youth Rowing, and the nearby Manor Park School of Taekwondo, all of which helped to provide activities and equipment at the Market Games and have many years of experience promoting sports among the young between them.
Retailer Tesco, who run an Express store a short distance from the Queen’s Market, also lent a hand, providing a food hamper as a donation for the Games prize draw. Another Market Games is in the works for February next year.
Local councillor Hanif Abdulmuhit told the Newham Mag at the time: “We are keen to get young people involved in fun activities like this when the market is not in use. It really brings our community together“.
As with many councils in London, Newham Council regularly organises community events to help bring communities together and encourage social cohesion and support. The much applauded arrival of the Olympic Games in Newham two years ago has created a spur of sporting activities organised by the council and sports bodies to encourage residents to be more active and to take up use of local facilities.