A million reasons to celebrate failed bid

MEMBERS of the team behind the city’s World Cup bid are already looking towards the future to help make Milton Keynes an International Sporting City.

The country was plunged into despair on Thursday when it was announced that Russia would be hosting the World Cup in 2018 – but just being included in the England bid has generated more than £1 million of positive publicity for our city.

Councillor Sam Crooks, said: “We thought we had to get Milton Keynes on the map and I think when you look at it that side of things it should be considered a huge achievement.

“The future is all about getting us recognised as a Sporting City. Our core strategy, which will be put before central Government and one of the things that will be included will be our spatial planning.”

Mr Crooks explained that one of the great things Milton Keynes has over a other cities is green space and the ability to develop in different areas.

He said: “If you look at places like Manchester and even London if they want to build new sports stadiums or world class running tracks then they would have to shoehorn it in or knock something down first. We don’t have that problem.

“We already have a number of sports looking at Milton Keynes as a centralised base with the National Badminton Centre in Loughton and the Red Bull racing team.

“I have been told by many involved with the badminton centre that we have a future Olympic champion in the city and we already know how much Red Bull has achieved.”

Milton Keynes Dons chairman Pete Winkleman spoke about creating a ‘legacy’ in the city through the World Cup bid but he is still valiantly battling on to make that happen even without it.

He said: “For a city just 43 years in the making to have come this far on an international sporting journey is a remarkable achievement and we should all be enormously proud of Milton Keynes’ role in what was a fantastic England bid.

“It serves to highlight that Milton Keynes has a big future as a key destination for international sporting events.”

Mr Crooks is now hoping that on a side note schools and organisations can encourage more pupils to get involved in sport to cut down on problems such as childhood obesity.

He said: “Winning the bid would have been great for our city’s future generation but we can still make sure we have a positive impact on them by really pushing what a great location we are for a number of sports.

“Health and promoting a healthy lifestyle is hugely important and what better way to start than with our younger generation.”