DOUBLE Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes will open the University of York's new £2 million athletics stadium and take part in a fun run.

The 2004 Athens medalist is to open the 500-seater stadium from 10am on April 16.

The joint City of York Council and University of York-funded facility on Campus West features an eight-lane regional standard athletics stadium, including pavilion.

For Dame Kelly, who won 1500m and 800m gold in Athens in 2004, it will be a welcome return to York as she used to train on the University’s old cinder track when she was based at nearby Imphal Army Barracks.

She said: "I’m delighted to return to a city I have affection for and to open new athletics facilities that have now changed beyond recognition from those I once ran at.

"It is great to promote state-of-the-art athletics facilities like this, especially one designed for the community. Schools and clubs in the area will really feel the benefit and hopefully inspire a whole new generation of athletes."

The track, which meets UK Athletics and IAAF standards, has been developed to accommodate athletics within the city and the City of York Athletic Club, who have been relocated as part of the Community Stadium and leisure project.

Members of the public, including young families, non-athletes as well as students are welcome to attend the day. 

Two of the events taking place: the “Run with Kelly” and Q&A, are free ticketed events and require booking. 

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